LMES - Spa-Francorchamps - Warm Up Report
morning and a damp track produced a quickest lap of 2:19.5 –
from the pole-sitting Creation DBA. In fact the top four were in
the same order as in qualifying, with the 8, 88 and 5 Audis second,
third and fourth.
Fifth and sixth
were the Rollcentre Dallara and the Pescarolo – these two
still tied together on pace. The Lister was next up, despite a spin,
the Vitaphone Saleen also spinning, this one in the entrance to
Good news from
the Barron Connor team: the #62 has been repaired and has been out
this morning. The chassis was bent in Mike Hezemans’ accident
though, so the set-up of this car may be far from the ideal.
Not good news
at Nasamax: an engine change after second qualifying was a planned
change – “It was out of miles,” said John McNeil
– but the warm up ‘off’ at the Pif Paf certainly
The team is
awaiting the return of the car at the moment, but Werner Lupberger
reports that “the back end snapped away from me. It hit the
tyre wall very hard. Maybe I should have let it spin, instead of
was a happier chappy this morning: “I was fastest in GT (in
the Autorlando Porsche), on inters, so something good to write about
The #40 RSR
TVR was second quickest in GT. Hugh Hayden didn’t send his
Sebah Porsche out at all. “Why risk it? The drivers got another
hour in bed.”
is back from the Nurburgring, where the BMW he was driving lost
a wheel and hit the barrier. His reward this morning? To be sent
out on unscrubbed slicks in the GNM Saleen. He coped though –
and was third quickest In GTS, behind the Larbre Ferraris. The Vitaphone
Saleen will start from the back of the grid, reason unknown for
the moment. Ah, fuel contamination; the scrutineers found a small
amount of fuel left over after Imola.
news: “It’s superficial damage,” commented Kieron
Salter – as the Nasamax mechanics piled into removing the
r/front corner. “Everything failed the way it is supposed
to: the bottom wishbone bent, the trackrod folded up too, and the
wishbone mounting bracket failed – all of which means that
the tub is intact. The nose box did its job too.”
Within ten minutes,
the crew had the whole corner off the car and were working on removing
the steering rack, which is quite a long job as it passes through
the front of the tub.
we sometimes have trouble finding members of this team, but have
finally caught up with their practice and qualifying news.
“I should have been on pole, but on my best lap I managed
to switch on the rev. limiter through Blanchimont, which slowed
me down fairly quickly. I lost maybe half a second.” The Scot
is expecting to start the race, drive a middle stint – and
finish it too.”
“Friday was a nightmare for us in the Porsche. We had a misfire
that we thought was the plugs, but wasn’t. In the afternoon,
Sascha got two laps in and then lost sixth gear. On Saturday morning,
we went out on wets but it was really too dry for them, but not
dry enough for slicks. Sascha was still fastest in class, but in
the afternoon there was more frustration, because our lack of track
time meant we were chasing a good set-up. The car is raceable though,
and with the weather looking like it was at the ‘Ring, I’m
hopeful of a good finish.”
The track dried
out in the Sunday morning sunshine, and perhaps we’ll have
a dry race.. ..or maybe not. Showers could occur throughout the
race, we understand.
Today is Adam
Sharpe’s 20th birthday. Will it be (birthday) points for the
Racesports TVR again? Which teams in each class will earn the coveted
Le Mans entries?
We caught up
with Kazumichi Goh and Dindo Capello after the warm-up session.
Mr Goh: “It
has been an extraordinary year. It is a little too early to confirm
what we will be doing next season - but I am looking forward to
coming back and racing in Europe again, with the Audi. I have had
offers to run programmes in Japanese GTs, but I don’t want
to do that.”
Dindo Capello: "I
haven’t raced here at Spa since 1995. I was only here then
to help out other drivers in the German Touring Car Championship
– I can’t remember the result so that probably means
it was awful!
a strange season – Le Mans was fantastic of course but in
the LMES we have had some really bad luck at Monza, and particularly
at Nurburgring. That cost us a lot of points, but then Silverstone
was very good and the car now is as good as it has ever been.
"As for this race
– the circuit is fantastic, one of the most beautiful in the
"The series has
been very good this year: the grids, the teams, the racing, all
have been excellent. The only disappointing thing has been the spectator
numbers – they need to build that part of it and then we will
have a wonderful series to go forward with.
And finally for now,
Jean-Marc Gounon: "I’m enjoying the car but needed to
have more track time – I have only done 11 or 12 laps so far."
Next year we expect to
see more track time for the LMES cars - at the four or five races
on the calendar. Four will definitely be at the same four circuits
used this year.