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LMES – Silverstone – Race Report 1 - The First Hour

Starting Drivers
#22 Kerr
#88 Davies
#8 Kaffer
#3 Minassian
#69 Hignett
#5 Capello
#6 Barbosa
#7 Erdos
#20 Keen
#14 Lupberger
#13 Gounon
#26 Gosselin
#34 Pullan
#31 Favre
#86 Bouchut
#59 Alzen
#36 Bouvet
#27 Ingram
#99 Rostan
#61 Sullivan
#35 Greaves
#28 Randaccio
#62 Deletraz
#10 Andrews
#52 Leslie
#93 Maassen
#70 Daoudi
#85 Collard
#71 Mowlem
#80 Pompidou
#81 Long
#90 Liddell
#77 Nishizawa
#97 Lavaggi
#84 Burgess
#89 Kane
#92 Wilson
#91 Mundy.

The Jota Zytek will be pitting to replace flat-spotted rubber after its first race lap. The tyres were flat spotted on someone's oil in second qualifying, the set unfortunately proving to be the team's nominated rubber to start the race.

The Audis are undergoing a seemingly pre-planned tyre change on the grid, presumably then fitting their nominated tyres. We do have a crowd here - final total still being added up, but Silverstone is well populated. Next installment here once the race pattern has settled down after a few laps - if it ever does... Kerr to romp away? The weather here is the best it's been so far at this meeting: bright skies and scattered high clouds.

Robbie Kerr calmly moved across to the left and took the racing line for Copse, and throughout the first lap he eased away from Jamie Davies. The lead was 1.8 seconds at the end of the first lap. A 1:36.9 on Kerr's second lap and the gap grew to 2.9 seconds, at which point Kerr eased back to 1:38 pace. Dindo Capello passed Sam Hignett on lap 2 at Club (the Jota Zytek not pitting, as we thought), so Audis ran second, third and fifth, Minassian filling the gap in fourth. The Audis and the DBA / Zyteks filled the top six places.

Seventh, eighth and ninth were Barbosa, Keen and Erdos, but the latter dropped back. Gounon led LMP2, from a fast starting Pullan in the K2 Pilbeam - but hounded by Gosselin the Belmondo Courage.

Lap 8 and the two Veloqx cars were side by side at Club, while Justin Keen in the Lister was monstering Joao Barbosa's Dallara. Alzen took the GTS lead on lap 2, while Maassen led GT, from Daoudi and Collard, three seconds separating them.

Keen passed Barbosa ending lap 8, the Dallara forced wide out of Luffield by back markers - and the red and white Lister smoothly pulled away.

Pullan lost P2 in LMP2 on lap 8, Gosselin passing him in the more powerful Courage. Nine seconds ahead of the blue Courage was the Nasamax, in a solid eleventh.

Liddell pitted the T2M Porsche, having had an early spin. The back of the car was spattered in oil, and seems the likely cause of the spin.

Lap 10 and Kerr's lead was a steady six seconds. Lap 11 and the leaders lapped the GTS leaders, Alzen ahead of Bouchut, by seven seconds.

The AutoPalace 360 is in fuel pressure trouble, having pitted twice already. Daoudi is still only a second behind Maassen, with Collard another four seconds back.

Justin Keen - a very good run for the Lister so far - was catching Sam Hignett for sixth, the Lister already leading the non-Audi-Zytek-DBA Class.

Lap 14 - 88 and 8 side by side, either side of Johnny Mowlem at Vale, then either side of Patrick Long, Kaffer taking second place exiting Club - 6.6 seconds behind Robbie Kerr.

The AutoPalace Ferrari has pitted three times...

Lap 15 and Kerr was nine seconds ahead of Kaffer, with Minassian five seconds behind Davies - and Hignett 15 behind Minassian.

GT at 15 laps:
Maassen
Daoudi -3
Long -3
Mowlem -1.5
Collard -0.6
Pompidou -3.9
Burgess -22
Nishizawa -3.5
Kane -2.

The Lola Caterpillar has pitted. Gounon leads LMP2 by 28 secs (in what will be the Miracle car), with Gosselin only a couple of seconds ahead of Pullan - comfortably ahead of the WR.

Approaching 20 laps, and we haven't had any real fireworks yet, although Keen had caught right up with Hignett, for fifth place.

The G Force Pilbeam pitted, engine cover removed, just after half an hour elapsed. Oil pressure warning light signalled trouble... that didn't exist. But the engine wouldn't fire up again.

Kane pitted with the C-S TVR, a very early, routine-looking stop, Warren Hughes looking as though he would take over, but he didn't.

Alzen's lead was 13 seconds in GTS, double that of Kerr at the front.

Collard - having dropped down to fifth - pitted at 32 minutes, Ortelli took over. It was looking like a very unscheduled stop. Power steering problems.

Completing lap 22, Keen passed Hignett for sixth, as they lapped traffic. Mowlem pitted with a clutch problem with the JWR Porsche.

Lap 23: Minassian the fastest man on the track and closing on the Audis, but on the next lap they eased away again, Kerr's lead down to four seconds.

Ortelli pits after one lap, and has driven straight into the Freisinger garage... with more p/steering trouble. The pump has to be changed. Maassen's lead has grown to 12 seconds. Long and Pompidou are thrd and fourth, but each 15 seconds behind the man in front.

Jordan prepared to set off in the JWR Porsche. 45 minutes: Nasamax pitted. Lupberger stayed at the wheel. Barbosa - ditto. Jordan pits after one lap.....

Keen and Hignett exchange places, the Lister still best of the rest in seventh. Keen then pitted.

Approaching lap 30 and Kaffer closed to 2.6 seconds behind Kerr, the German into the 1:38s. Next lap and the gap was suddenly six seconds (traffic)... as Minassian passed Davies for third place. The DBA was 14 seconds behind its younger sister.

Kerr pitted from the lead at 30 laps, Kaffer leads, Minassian and Davies also pit. Kerr stays in the 04S and gets out ahead of Davies.

Kaffer pitted after 31 laps, no tyres (just like the other pit stoppers), and the German stayed in. Capello pitted and seemed to indicate a problem at the front end of the Le Mans winner. A very quick Kaffer stop had him out before Kerr came by... an Audi led for the first time.

Lap 34:
Kaffer
Kerr -7
Davies -15
Minassian -21
Capello -27
Erdos -31 (pitting - about to drop to ninth)
Hignett -73
Keen -86
Barbosa -96.

Kerr brought the lead gap down to four seconds at the conclusion of the first hour, with GTS cars pitting for routine stops.

The JWR RSR needs a new clutch, approx a 30 minute job.

 

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