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LMES - Silverstone 1000 Kms - Post-Race Quotes
Wrapping It Up (1)

Tell us about the first hour, Xavier Pompidou, when you were eighth overall, leading GT2: “I like the rain. I saw that the grip level was good on the two warm-up laps – I was looking very hard to see where the water was, and where it was drier. From the start, I took some big risks to overtake some prototypes, and I pushed at the limit for 15 minutes. I was sure that the other GT2s were going to be more careful than that.

“As the LMP drivers became more confident, they still found that it was very difficult to pass me on the straight. From then, I took no big risks, but I did spin at the corner before Bridge)

Paul Truswell: “As the meeting has a Le Mans feel to it, I thought I ought to stay in the commentary box all night – so I did. I slept on a camp bed.”

Fantastic(ally) mad, Paul.

Fantastic was the most often used word at the post-race press conference. Graham Goodwin asked four of the stars of the race – the four stars of the race – to use one word to describe the race…

The Race In One Word
Allan McNish
: “UNBELIEVABLE – What a race the Creation boys gave us and what a finish from Stephane and from Jamie. What Stephane did was very, very difficult, it is very fast and very dangerous and to have a finish so close is just great to attract people to this part of the sport.”

Stephane Ortelli: ““FANTASTIC – It was so close at the end and such an exciting last hour. What a fantastic car and a great race.”

Jamie Campbell-Walter: “LIGHTS – As in the Audi has great lights and that helped to overcome Stephane’s disadvantage, getting into the car in the darkness. Let’s not forget the Audi is a fantastic car, it has had millions spent on development and testing and to do what we do with the resources we have is a massive credit to everyone involved.”

Nicolas Minassian: “FINISHING – Its great to get there finally, of course it’s disappointing to get this close but we have a fast AND reliable car now.”

And perhaps most typically of all!

Martin Short: “I CAN’T THINK OF ONE WORD. I’m delighted with the result after a pretty dismal start. We lost the paddle shift after 17 laps and then the instruments lit up like a Christmas tree again, this time though it was down to water in the electronics I’m sure, we swopped the steering wheel over from the Nissan-engined car when it retired and things were much better.”

Back to the conventional comments....

Sebah 1-3
Marc Lieb
: “What a great result, I just want to say a big thank you to Hugh Hayden and all the guys at Sebah. This is such an old car now but it is still fast and very, very reliable. The boys do a world class job.”

Lars Erik Nielsen: “That was not so easy at all at the end. Pierre (Ehret) had no wipers for the last 90 minutes and then had a prototype lose its engine right in front of him, he really could see nothing at all, a fantastic run.

“I had a great first stint, up from almost last to second in class before pitting and I kept third when I rejoined, one of my best races ever.”

Wolfgang Kaufmann: “I’m very pleased with the result but there is a big frustration getting this close and knowing it could have been even better. The last session was very, very frustrating. I couldn’t move the seat and the lights were not good either, a big problem here. Towards the end there was a lot of oil on the screen too so it was very tough to see. For the team though this is excellent, you have no idea how hard they have worked.”

Hugues de Chaunac: “Thanks to the drivers, they did a fantastic job. I want to thank Creation – for the last hour and 30 minutes it was like a Grand Prix.”

No it wasn’t Hugues!

Allan McNish: “It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever competed in. We had a little more speed, but Creation had a better strategy.”

Stephane Ortelli: “It was very special at the end. I was really pushing. It wasn’t easy to get into the car for the last stint, in the dark. But I did have a very good car and a very good team-mate.”

JC-W: “A fantastic weekend, I think we seven guys and girls here at the press conference have put on a very good race. Stephane was better through the quick stuff.”

Nic Minassian: “It’s disappointing to finish second of course, but it was a very good race – and it was really hard. We had a problem with the paddle shift so we had to heel and toe and use the clutch and stuff.”

Peter Kox: “This is the first Prodrive 550 – and I shook it down here, on the GP track, in 2001. Then I went on to take the first 550 win in this chassis, in Austria. I was in the car for three and a half hours in this race, so it’s very nice to win.”

“…..to have a finish so close is just great to attract people to this part of the sport,” said Allan McNish, above.

The tragedies were that an event such as this was afflicted with such awful weather for three hours, that the drivers were put in so much danger, that the SC was utilized so badly and so often (therefore bunching the cars up time after time), and that the event received so little promotion.

 

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