The Maiden DBA Win
Odd things were going on at Oschersleben yesterday, prior to the
DBA crossing the line for its first ever win – as race winner
Andy Wallace explains…..
“I thought it was
a fantastic circuit, but the layout of the pit exit created the
problem – that and the shortage of cars. We knew there was
a problem on Saturday, because as you left the pits, you had to
go round the outside of the first corner, staying beyond the white
line – just as you have to at Magny-Cours and elsewhere. That
was where all the marbles were collecting, so as you left the pits,
you collected the rubber on your tyres. So a request was made for
the pit exit to be swept before the race, but of course there was
nothing anyone could do once the 150 minute race started.
“Our plan was for
Hayanari (Shimoda) to start the race, and go almost to the half
way point before pitting for the first time. That turned out to
be a very good strategy. He drove an excellent 70 minute stint –
a really brilliant job. While he stayed out there, Jan Lammers,
then Gabbiani and then the Pescarolo car all came in for their first
stops, picked up the rubber on the way out, and went slower. So
Hayanari stayed out, and gained time on them all. With so few cars
racing, each car that pitted collected substantial amounts of rubber.
“But of course
until later on, we were unclear exactly what was happening…..at
least until I took over at 70 minutes. And then the jacks wouldn’t
work. The team had to use inflatable air bags to lift the car, so
it was a bit wobbly and must have made changing the wheels pretty
difficult. We lost at least a minute, and the Pescarolo car was
in the lead – perhaps it didn’t pick up the rubber as
lap out, I thought I was going to crash. It felt like a loose wheel,
and the car was zig-zagging all over the place. I got on the radio
to Dave Price and said that I must have a loose wheel, but they
checked the nuts and they were all tight – so I had to press
on. Straight back out and through the rubber again.
“I drove it like
a madman to get rid of the rubber: I was swerving about, then trying
to scrub it off the fronts in the corners. It was more difficult
to get rid of it off the back because the car doesn’t spin
laps times were pretty poor, but they were better than everybody
else’s! There was so much rubber on the rears, it actually
changed the gearing of the car. On the straight, I stayed in fifth,
rather than change up to sixth.
“In the end, I
dived up the inside of the Courage at the last corner, and finally
got him at the first corner. The Zytek V8 is really smooth: they’ve
done a great job with the mapping of that engine.
“Both of the Domes
made stops because they had cars as twitchy as mine, but I guess
we just made the most of it.”
So a difficult
weekend, but it was a win all the same for the DBA4-03S. The first
ever overall win for a 675 car. And John Nielsen won in the Danish
Touring Cars too – so a double victory for RN Motorsports.
is off to Sears Point early on Wednesday, for the ALMS race. With
Trois Rivieres following along close behind, we’ll try and
catch up with him after the next pair of ALMS events, for the full
story behind both….