LMES - Spa-Francorchamps - Hours 2 & 3
As the Safety Car is withdrawn Herbert leads Capello by
18 seconds. Sam Hignett is now up to third spot in the Team Jota
Zytek two minutes further back, with a great Rollcentre/ Nasamax
battle just 6 seconds behind the Zytek.
Barbosa is flying
in the rain, pulling clear of the Nasamax and closing on the Zytek.
But he spins at Raidillon, no damage, the car rejoins but he loses
the spot to the Nasamax.
The rain is
getting heavier - The pitlane may well be a busy place again for
the fourth time in 80 minutes.
The Cirtek Ferrari
- #92 becomes the second lucky recipient of a 5 minute stop and
all the major runners are stopping for wet weather tyres, the rain
is still falling heavily as we approach the 90 minute mark. At some
point here, Barbosa passes Herbert on the track, but pits at the
end of that lap, so it isn't recorded on the timing screen.
now the fastest man on track in the DBA, his recovery drive has
now netted 9th place as he passes GTS leader Bouchut in the #86
Both of the
LMP2 Courages have stayed out in the rain and are now running 3rd
and 4th overall with Patrick Pearce next up in the Dallara, Sam
Hignett having vacated the Jota Zytek to be replaced by Collini.
Capello is now
eating into Herbert's lead, an advantage that had stretched to well
over 20 seconds is now down to 18 once again.
is having a fine run, up to third as he goes by Jonathan Cochet.
still pushing hard, closing in on Tommy Erdos for 7th
The rain stops
again and with bright sunshine appearing immediately the cars are
looking for wet patches to cool their tyres. The #84 Seikel Porsche
is the first to make the choice to go for slicks, Graeme Mundy the
brave man at the wheel.
profiting from a great tyre call to go onto intermediates has brought
the #75 Autorlando car up into 4th in GT, wets are clearly not the
tyre to have now, the rear screen- less, wet shod Cirtek Porsche
drops 5 seconds per lap to the “Winner from Pinner”
from 6th in the Jota Zytek for slicks and fuel. There is however
a further problem, the car is pushed back into the pitbox.
now up to sixth having passed Erdos. The Frenchman is now closing
in on the Nasamax, just ten seconds ahead. It takes just one further
lap for the DBA to latch onto the tail of the #14 car
the GTS lead, pitting for slicks, Alzen now leads the class, 9th
overall. The #86 Ferrari rejoins with Steve Zacchia at the wheel.
Herbert is now
comprehensively outpacing Capello, the team’s choice for intermediates
clearly paying off as team Goh call in the #5 car for slicks. Ara
climbs aboard and the car rejoins but Herbert passes the car at
the top of Eau Rouge to put Team Goh a lap down..
from third for tyres and Cochet reclaims third overall, the LMP2
Courage running quicker at the moment than the race leading Audi.
The DBA is now
clearly in tyre trouble, Ara blasts by on the straight and Minassian
pits, Jamie Campbell-Walter is ready to climb aboard but there is
a delay for front-right hand bodywork damage to be attended to.
On slicks the Team Goh car is now 5 seconds per lap faster than
the intermediate shod Herbert.
The #81 Farnbacher
Porsche, running second in GT stops out on the circuit.
2 hours 10 minutes –
Patrick Pearce loses
control on the white line at the top of Eau Rouge and the Dallara
impacts the Armco hard on the outside sideways on, the car spins
again and hits again front end on, shedding much of its bodywork.
The Safety crews are in attendance. Adam Proctor reports that Patrick
was conscious when the car came to a halt and has now been removed
from the heavily damaged car to an ambulance.
Herbert pits for slicks
and Jamie Davies takes over at the wheel of #88.
completed his entire stint, throughout some of the worst of the
weather, on slick tyres in the Paul Belmondo Courage: “We
wanted to save a pitstop but it was very difficult to keep it on
the track, I lost a lot of time on track but I kept it going.”
The #26 is two laps down on the class leader, the factory Courage
(in third overall).
Under the Safety Car
the race order is:
88 – Davies 54
5 – Ara 53 Laps
13 – Frei 52 Laps
7 – Newton +17 seconds
14 – Dumas 51 laps
59 – 50 Laps
26 – Belmondo + 6 seconds
86 – Zacchia +2 seconds
3 – Campbell Walter - + 10 seconds
85 – Ortelli +34 seconds.
We hear that
Patrick Pearce is mercifully OK. It's been two and a half hours
of absolute drama and incident here. Bright sunshine and a dry track
now - which is the signal for Romain Dumas to set the Nasamax's
best lap of the race, a 2:11.158, running extremely well in fifth
place. Dumas is catching Mike Newton for fourth - at 14 seconds
terrific shame," commented Joao Barbosa, as the wreck of the
Dallara was returned to the pits. "The car was the best it's
been all season: if only we could have started the season with the
car as well sorted as this."
problems for the team Jota Zytek were caused when Gianni Collini
spun out of Stavelot, the car brushed off the rear wing and broke
a rear track rod. Collini rejoined after the repairs were effected
but suffered another spin, this time harmless through the Bus Stop.
The car is now down in 14th place.
The #32 Lucchini
is now up into the top ten overall closing in on the ninth placed
overall, GT class leading Freisinger Porsche. The LMP2 pits next
time around though which allows Danny Sullivan up into the top ten
in what could be his last race.
grabs third place from Alexander Frei but he is in turn being caught
fast by Romain Dumas, the Frenchman is storming along in the Nasamax.
at Three Hours
#88 68 laps
#5 -93 secs
#7 65 laps
#14 +17 secs
#13 +43 secs
#3 64 laps
#26 +73 secs
#86 63 laps
#85 +60 secs
#61 62 laps
#36 +1.9 secs
#69 62 laps
#32 61 laps
#59 61 laps
#35 61 laps
after three hours, Safety Car again. The Nasamax has gone off at
the same corner that claimed Ayari, heavy front end damage. Dumas
was less than a second ahead of the DBA, for position, at the time.
"Considerable damage," says Kieron Salter, "but tub
That's four protypes
with very heavy damage, out of the race.