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LMES - Nurburgring 1000 Kms - Race Report 2
Hours 2&3

So with the rain, initially Kaffer and Herbert stayed out into the second hour, but Herbert did show a more cautious approach - while Kaffer didn't. The German stayed out on slicks, and after one moment through the gravel, he then parked it in the gravel at about 80 minutes.

The rain had stopped by now...

That put him almost a lap down, in fifth position, but he chased down the impressive Erdos for fourth, which is how the positions were at 50 laps, approx. 100 mins. Kaffer also managed to side-swipe the Tracsport Lola off the track...

Meanwhile, Herbert, making his second stop (for wets) later than Minassian, emerged right behind the DBA, passed it, then had to withstand pressure for lap after lap. He held off Minassian - they had one long side by side moment - until Herbert pitted again, for slicks this time, at 110 minutes into the race. Just before this the order was....

50 laps:
Herbert
Minassian -1 sec
Ara -1m 15
Kaffer -1m 38
Erdos -1m42
Ayari -1 laps
Barbosa -1 lap
Hignett -1 lap
Gounon
Nielsen
Bouchut
Bartels -40 secs.

So with the track drying fast, Minassian led - but had a puncture into the first corner, and spun into the gravel. He was pulled out, but almost lost it again making his way back to the pits. Minassian stayed in the car, dropping to fifth.

The Jota Zyek has had two stops one after the other, so the untroubled success story is Erdos in the RML Lola, third at two hours - and right behind Ara:

Two hours:
Herbert
Ara -49s
Erdos - 0.5s
Kaffer -49s
Minassian
Ayari (Helary?)
Barbosa (Short?)
Gounon
Nielsen
Hignett
Bouchut
Alzen - 40s.

Unless we've missed something, there have been very few changes of driver among the leading cars. Erdos then takes second place - on wets, as the rain starts again.

GT is between the Cirtek, Freisinger, Sebah and Farnbacher Porsches. The Daoudi Ferrari pitted with some front end damage at 1 hour, then skated off on Rusinov's out lap.

The third hour gets underway.... with the two Audi UK cars, having pitted for slicks, coming back in for wets. At two hours 15 the rain is torrential. Erdos had to pit for a regular fuel stop, dropping to a still excellent third.

Ara now took the lead for the first time, Herbert dropping to 19 seconds behind on his wets, Erdos another 33 seconds back, then Kaffer after his adventures, Minassian after his - and Short in the Dallara. Nothing stays the same for long though, Ara pitting for fuel, and dropping to third, Erdos back up to second. AER engines second overall and leading LMP2.

Now here's an upset. The #61 Barron-Connor Ferrari leads GTS, Biagi only having made one stop.... the Vitaphone Saleen is second, the GNM S7 third (one stop only) and the Larbre Ferrari fourth.

GT is Maassen / Jones for Cirtek (development Dunlops working very well in all conditions?), from Fresinger, Sebah (a great run) and Ian Khan's car - which will race in the Belcar event tomorrow, if fit. The JWR Porsche is still as quick as anything, and moving up the order - now an excellent sixth.

Nearly two and a half hours and it's bright sunshine....

Biagi pits, just after losing the lead on the track to the Vitaphone Saleen: the Italia stays in #61 Barron Connor Ferrari - a very good run.

A regular Ara pit stop lost him the lead to Herbert some time before 150 minutes had elapsed, so the top four became 88, 5, 8, 3 - because the RML Lola has suddenly dropped three laps behind, reason currently unknown. Rollcentre and Pescarolo are resuming their Mo/ Le Mans affair, for fifth....

GT is still Cirtek, Freisinger, Sebah, Perspective... and then JWR's Porsche, which has been lapping three seconds a lap quicker than the rest and is charging up the order, after the early mishap in the gravel. Liddell and Jordan did indeed have a car for all conditions, and this pair is excelling in the wet.

Ah, Erdos had a stop and go penalty, and the car stalled and would not restart, apparently.

Approaching 2 hours 45, the track is drying again, and Kaffer pits, still stays in, and takes slicks. The other Audi follows him in, from the lead, Herbert stays in, also takes slicks. If it rains again soon, this could backfire - but the team has its own weather forecasters.

Herbert spins at the first corner, immediately after leaving the pits. Slicks too early?

Goh Audi leads on wets, 3, 88, 8, 6, 17. Nothing stays the same here for long.

Nearly three hours, and although 8 and 88 weren't immediately the fastest on their slicks, they soon were. Ara and Minassian - about to end three hour stints both? - were outside two minute laps, while Herbert and Kaffer were down to 1:58 and 1:54 laps... and Herbert passed Minassian for third, just after we noted these positions.

Ara (just about to pit)
Minassian -36s (ditto)
Herbert -2 s
Kaffer -48s
Short -2 laps
Helary -15s and dropping away from the crafty Short
13 Courage -3 laps
7 RML Lola -3 laps
Belmondo Courage
Vitaphone Saleen
Larbre Ferrari.

Herbert and Kaffer - both doing monster stints - really piled it on approaching three hours - as JC-W tried to prevent the DBA going a lap down. This held up Herbert, Kaffer meanwhile lapping in 1:49s and catching #88. That choice of slicks might have been a maximum of two laps too soon - or perhaps not too soon at all.

Three hours (half way):
Herbert
Kaffer -29s
Capello -6s
JC-W - nearly a lap
Pescarolo (Ayari?) -2 laps
Short -3s
RML Lola -3 laps
Hancock - 4 laps
Vitaphone
Belmondo etc.

GT:
Cirtek Porsche
Freisinger Porsche
JMB Ferrari
JWR Porsche (!).

As Sam Hancock took over, there was a delay for the class leading Courage, some sort of electrical issue. A slow out lap then saw him back up to speed soon.

"Soaked, dry, soaked, dry," says a drying out David Lord.

 

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