LMES - Silverstone 1000 Kms - Hour 1
Very Wet & Windy Start

The rain was still blowing around as start time approached – and it was very windy. Audi weather or not?

Bouillon takes the lead up the inside at Copse and takes a substantial lead as Tom Chilton spins at Club in the #15 Zytek.

End of lap 1 and Minassian leads from Kurosawa, Bouillon having spun out of sight, rejoining just behind third placed Erdos. The Pescarolo though grabs the place back in the complex.

Gabbiani spins at Copse after contact with Chilton, the Zytek spins again but the Dome hits the wall on the outside, driver OK but end of the race for the RfH Dome.

Early pit stops for both the Peninsula TVR and G Force Courage, the TVR swapping inters (wisely) for wets

Kurosawa has a quick spin and drops to fourth.

Lap 2, Minassian, Bouillon, Erdos, Kurosawa and Vergers.

LMP2 Erdos leads Vergers, Vosse and Tinseau.

GT1 Bouchut leads a flying A-Level Porsche (Kaufmann at the wheel) then Peter Kox.

GT2 Pompidou leads Kirkaldy and Rockenfeller.

Conditions are awful, Pompidou is up to 13th overall in the #90 Sebah Porsche. In stealth mode, McNish is sixth.

Bouillon crashes, Lap 5, as he came onto the Hangar straight, he hits the wall on the outside - rear end damage…. as the #15 Zytek is pushed into the garage with front end damage (after hitting the Dome). The Pescarolo meanwhile is struggling back and spins in the Complex again but finally pits.

Lap 5 Kaufmann now leads GT1 by 4 seconds, a storming drive, he’s 14th overall but Pompidou, leading GT2 is tenth (!) and gaining on the LMP2 cars ahead of him.

McNish is now up to fourth, with the LMP2 leading RML MG Lola second overall.

#56 and #28 are confirmed as withdrawals, the Tampolli with a broken gearbox.

Rockenfeller is fending off Jonny Kane for second in GT2 as another flurry of pit stops takes place, the Lister and Bouchut’s Convers Ferrari.

Kurosawa is back up to second as Erdos stumbles a little, down to fourth with McNish also taking advantage. The Scot is driving beautifully and passes the Jota Zytek to grab second, he’s almost 30 seconds behind the Creation DBA though.

Phil Hindley, after starting at the very back, had made up more than 20 places by the 20 minute mark, he’s up to 20th overall by the half hour.

The #57 Viper has had a trip into the gravel and now pits whilst Jonathan Cocker is struggling, he pits for the second time just after 20 minutes and Sugden replaces him at the wheel of #88.

It’s been an awful start for the majority of the LMP1 and GT1 front runners whilst the LMP2 and GT2 cars are shining. There are only three LMP1s in the top ten at 30 minutes.

GT2 and GT1 leaders are now in the top 10. Pompidou eighth and Kaufmann tenth as Tinseau pits from seventh in the Del Bello Courage.

McNish is now closing on the DBA at 2-3 seconds per lap, Kurosawa though is still well in touch. The gap is traffic-related though and when Minassian is clear once again he eases away.

Bob Berridge is in the gravel.

Sam Hancock is making progress, getting quicker in the Binnie Lola, indeed he’s third quickest of all at the half hour mark, not for long though, Erdos posts a 2:05 to close in again on Kurosawa.

Top 10 at 30 minutes
7, 4, 9, 25, 30, 36, 41, 90, 53, 76

Class Leaders - #25 Erdos, #90 Pompidou, #53 Kaufmann. An astonishing top ten and an amazing first 30 minutes.

Marc Lieb: “The car seems to be very good in the rain” No s*** Sherlock.

Jan Lammers: “It was Chilton in the car wasn’t it? He hit Beppe at Copse. Maybe he had too many Weetabix this morning?” Jan was still smiling and added “There are children dying for lack of food, this is only racing.”

In the Pescarolo pit there is furious activity, with the underfloor, rear boxes and wing being replaced, Bouillon stays in the car, Collard standing by - looking unhappy.

McNish posts the fastest lap of the race so far on lap 17, the gap is closing, down to 16 seconds at 45 minutes.

The Dallara Nissan pits unexpectedly, the car is pushed into the garage.

Sam Hancock meanwhile spins away seventh spot, rejoins and pits immediately and Tim Sugden too is in trouble, the #88 car in the gravel, it is retrieved and pits again (for the third time in 40 minutes).

#35 and #82 are given stop go penalties but the G Force spins into the gravel before taking it.

Kaufmann is catching Pompidou but is passed himself by Barbosa in the Rollcentre Dallara Nissan, the Dallara is soon by Pompidou too, up to seventh.

Balbo Camino in the Lola B98 is going well, the car running well inside the top 20.

Hayanari Shimoda is now aboard the recovering #15 Zytek, he posts the fastest lap of the race on lap 13, a 2:00.863.

In GT1, Kaufmann still dominates, a minute ahead of Kox in the MenX 550 with the remaining front running GT1 runners propping up the top 30. Bouchut though is closing fast after his early delay, ten seconds a lap quicker than his GT1 competitors.

Pompidou takes a trip across the grass at Club, avoiding the approaching #15 Zytek and rejoining without damage.

It is still raining quite heavily.

McNish post the first lap below 2 minutes as Minassian posts his best so far, some 2 seconds adrift of the Scot’s mark, the gap is now just 8 seconds.

Martin Short: ““Joao aquaplaned off early on. We just lost the paddle shift on #8, I think the water is getting into everything.” The Nissan engined #18 Dallara has an oil leak.

The Pescarolo was about to rejoin at 50 minutes elapsed. Pat Pearce has no wipers in the #82 TVR. Allan Simonsen is suffering a misted screen in the JWA Porsche.

Kaufmann pits from eighth.

The leading pair are now together on the track, with Erdos now back up into third, ahead of Kurosawa but more than a minute down on the leader.

Top fifteen at 55 minutes:
7, 4 (-).8 seconds), 25, 9, 30, 36, 8, 27, 53, 37, 90, 76, 81, 67, 6.

The Creation DBA has an electrical problem with the gear cut – hence McN closing. Safety Car at 1 hour – very heavy rain……

#18 Dallara is out - scavenge pump failure.


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