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LMES – Silverstone 1000 Kms – Pre-Race
Wet Then Dry?

The rain came at approximately 13.00 and it’s supposed to last for three hours: the 1000 Km starts at 16.00.

So will the rain suit you, Allan McNish?

“Oh yes definitely. But that adds to the risk of being taken out by someone. There are some interesting drivers out there… We were quick in the wet last year, we were quick in the wet at Le Mans – but remember what happened to Dind at the ‘Ring last year.”

What was that speed all about last night?

“It was mainly down to the wind dropping: the Audi is very sensitive to wind, and in the morning it was coming from the direction of Stowe School, the it changed during the day, then dropped at night. The wind was giving us understeer in some corners, oversteer in others.”

Ballast and restrictors?

“It’s very tough now on straightline speed. If we don’t pass a Porsche into Stowe we can lose a second and a half there – which makes it so important to pass people before the corners – but we’re down on top speed….”

In other news….

The Paul Belmondo Racing team apparently has a lot to thank one of the smallest teams on the grid for – yesterday’s pit garage fire was actually initially fought by several of the Tracsport team members from the adjoining garage: as the Belmondo team fled the garage in the face of a substantial fire they were passed in the opposite direction by the Tracsport pit crew, who brought the fire under immediate control.

Phil Hindley glumly revealed that the Tech9 Porsche had missed the qualifying session this morning, a stub axle breaking just as the wheels were put onto the car as the GT session loomed – “By the time we could fix it (which required a new upright) the session was over”. The car will start from the back of the grid.

From the same pit garage, the James Watt Automotive Porsche will see Allan Simonsen starting the race, the young Dane thrilled with his qualifying effort, just a tenth down on the #88 GruppeM Porsche.

Patrick Pearce was delighted with teammate Marc Hynes’ qualifying effort aboard the #82 team LNT TVR. “Very pleased with that, and on his first lap too. It’s good to get one over on the other car from time to time.”

Sam Hancock was busy in the Binnie Motorsport pit making preparations for the race ahead. “The car is very different from the other LMP2 cars I’ve driven, a different engine and different (Pirelli) tyres too. It has been very quick so far though: despite the fact that I pitted with what I thought was a major oversteer problem, we set second fastest time. We changed a tracking arm that could have caused the problem but if that doesn’t solve it we’ll still have some pace.”

Martin Short was “Not very pleased with qualifying, we went in the wrong direction with set up and have gone back where we started from on Thursday. If it rains we’ll still be in good shape as we’re softer on set up than most anyway.”

Shorty had a funny old day yesterday. From a car that was “perfect” at the start of the first session, “Joao got in it and wanted to change things – but the track was changing all day, so by the end we ended up with a car that was just as good as we started with, on a track that felt different.”

A Racing for Holland team member has been despatched to Heathrow to collect Jan Lammers, who has just landed in London after finishing sixth in the Watkins Glen Grand Am race yesterday. There remains substantial doubt as to whether he will be permitted to race.

He can race! “I’ve been given permission to race – and I can even start the race if Beppe doesn’t want to.”

Thanks as always are due to those teams who have offered to fly the dsc flag in the Silverstone 1000kms: a total of more than 20 cars should start the race carrying our colours.

Next will be a starting driver list.

NB. The #28 Tampolli has been withdrawn.

 

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