LMES - Silverstone 1000 Kms - Hour 2

The Safety Car seems to be on track as the second hour starts, simply because the rain became very heavy. M. Short was involved in suggesting that it was called out.

The weather forecast is now suggesting that it will not dry out today – this is the heavy rain that was forecast – later… and heavy.

Minassian and McN are right together on the track, of course, as they were before the SC. Erdosse, Vosse and Kurosawa (who has pitted – and slipping to tenth) are third, fourth and ‘fifth’. Erdos and Vosse are 48 seconds apart in the queue (on the same lap as #7 and #4). Barbosa takes fifth, but two laps down.

Surely the first two are about to pit?

75 minutes: the JMB 575 has had problems with its steering.

Shimoda is six laps down, in 38th place, just ahead of the Tracsport Tampolli. As cars ahead pit under the SC, Pompidou and R’feller move up to seventh and eighth. Palttala is the only other GT2 on the same lap.

Kaufmann is a lap clear of the next three in GT1, which are Kox, Malucelli and Bouchut, in 21st, 22nd and 23rd.

The Aston and the other BMS Ferrari are a lap behind these three.

It looks as though it will be a six hour race…..

Kurosawa pits again – he’s vomited over himself. Stack in.

The Lister is 11th, fourth in LMP1, ahead of the Jota Zytek now – with the ladies in #19 next up, 16th overall.

This is a bizarre race.

80 minutes – racing again…. Neither of the first two has pitted. Visibility is still appalling. Justin Keen unlaps himself from McNish……

Barbosa pitted for fuel as the SC pulled in… odd.

84 mins.: Minassian and Erdos pit, McNish leads for the first time, but he has the Lister ahead on the road. Min. and Erd. Stay in their cars.

Pompidou in the gravel from the GT2 lead – SC again. R’feller leads GT2. McNish still hasn’t pitted…… Lister up to seventh.

McN pits under the SC, Ortelli takes over, and meets a red light at pit exit, and we think he’ll lose a lap.

Patrick Pearce ended his stint and described what it was like to race in the wet without a windscreen wiper; “I couldn’t see a thing! When I was following the safety car down the pit straight, I actually had to open the door and stick my head out to see where I was going. At other times I had to go across the grass. Basically, whenever I was following a car, I couldn’t see past the bonnet. I certainly wouldn’t want to drive another stint like that!” Without this problem and the stop/go penalty, Pearce reckoned that he would have been challenging for the class lead.

Piers Johnson reported no problems with the #95 Peninsular TVR other than a visibility problem caused by a misting screen that caused his slow lap near the start of the race (not tyres).

Del Delaronde parked the Tracsport Tampoli behind the barriers and it looked as though Eddie Morris would sadly have to wait a bit longer for his prototype debut.

Allan McNish was apparently livid with the race organisers that the Safety Car didn’t come out earlier in the atrocious conditions.

“It was totally unacceptable, you could not see a thing. The Pescarolo spun on the straight. I was shocked, I have never been put in so much danger in my life.”

Mike Jankowski at Creation tells us that McNish and Minassian were side by side under the Safety Car shaking their heads in disbelief. “I’m worried about people, we ought to stop the race. The drivers say it is too dangerous. There’s a group of managers complaining now.”

Martin Short: “Joao said he was down to 20mph, that’s why I went to see the Clerk of the Course. I asked them to bring out the Safety Car. They did but when the rain eased again they pulled it in! There was still as much water on the track.”

Meanwhile at RML, Mike Newton was happy to leave Tommy Erdos out there at the head of the class.

Mystery surrounds the reason why the Audi now finds itself in the train behind the saftey car ahead of the DBA, almost, but not quite, a full lap down. The reasoning being that if the R8 was held at the end of the pitlane (as it should have been with the train approaching, it should only have rejoined at the tail of the queue and not in the middle).

The safety car is withdrawn but then immediately rejoins as the two LNT TVRs have a coming together at Stowe, both rejoin.

Paltalla now leads GT2, the #73 Ice Pol Porsche is yet to pit though, GT1 leader Kaufmann is now up to seventh overall once again.

The RML MG Lola has been helped out enormously by the Safety Car shenanigans, the deficit of almost a lap to the lead cars now down to just 13 seconds, the #25 car though seems to have a problem with its throttle, the action seeming to lack progression, not what you want in this weather.

Top 15 at 2 Hours:
7, 4, 25, 30, 36, 73, 53, 8, 6, 67, 89, 90, 13, 19, 97
Hancock spun the Binnie Lola exiting Woodcote – and the marshal was still waving the green flag, because the SC had just ‘pitted’. Green flag racing… with a car on the grass just past start-finish. No wonder some drivers are outraged.


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