Tales From The ‘Ring
Chamberlain-Synergy, G-Force & JWA
The LMES event
was a reasonably straightforward one to cover ‘live’,
but as ever, we can’t gather all the tales and write about
them, within the duration of the race.
Every team has
its story of course, but here are three we (partly or largely) missed.
Bob Berridge started the race in the #39 Lola, but he pitted as
early as 23 laps into the race – which was particularly odd,
as the yellow Lola has a ‘history’ of long stints.
Why pit after
23 laps? Race engineer Dave Lampitt was in the right place at the
right time – Calais on Monday – to provide the answers.
wouldn’t pick up all its fuel. It got to the stage where we
could see on the telemetry, after using only 30 litres, that it
was running lean, and we called the car in to top it up.
little AER took all the punishment, and kept on running.”
that Gareth Evans did “a triple stint” after a ‘double’
from Bob Berridge, and with Peter Owen in third, Bob Berridge was
back in to the finish.
braking problems. It turned out that a front pipe had chafed through,
so he had no fluid in the front at all. As he came down the pit
lane, he warned us that we’d have to stop him, but he cleverly
stalled it and brought it to a halt. We capped off one front brake
and sent him back out.”
That was the
Lola’s ninth pit stop, only five laps after its eighth, and
Berridge resumed in fifth in LMP2 (he had been fourth, ahead of
in 1:57 with one front brake, then got quicker as he got used to
it – and he managed the 17 second gap to the del Bello car,
to hang on to fifth at the end.”
It had been
the del Bello team that couldn’t work out how it was beaten
by the Chamberlain-Synergy Lola at Spa.
So no podium
for the Spa winners, but Berridge, Evans and Owen lead the LMP2
points with one race left: they have 26, with 23 for the RML MG
Lola, Belmondo’s #36 car also has 23 – and the title
(and guaranteed Le Mans entry) will be decided amongst these three.
“Our first podium spot was within reach....” were Frank
Hahn’s words, as his Courage was pushed into its garage during
the 1000 kms.
This event saw
the return of Hahn’s ‘own’ C65, after dramas at
Le Mans in June saw his chassis temporarily replaced by another.
David Hart qualified
18th. “I was close to the better drivers and this makes me
feel confident. But my respect for the regular drivers of these
open prototypes is really growing. It’s a very special experience.
The car is also very different from the GTs I normally drive. The
downforce is really amazing.”
only delay was with rubber pick-up on his tyres, Jean-Francois Leroch
taking over in the middle of the race and hauling the car into the
was one without any problem,” commented Leroch. “What’s
more, I managed to get within the top three of our class and even
10th overall. This is a good result for our squad.”
Then came the
significant delay, with Hahn himself at the wheel. It was a broken
wire between the starter button and the motor itself.
is really disappointing, this incident made us lose 18 minutes or
about 9 or 10 laps," commented the car owner later.
position is now gone but David and Jean-François will do
everything possible to get the #35 Courage back in a good position,”
said Hahn, as he watched the ongoing repair.
So the RML MG
Lola finished third, G-Force fourth and Chamberlain-Synergy fifth.
entry in the class was the winning one, the Horag-Lista Lola.
team manager of G-Force: “Without the technical failure, we
could have been third or even in class. But with ‘if’
you will never win a race… We know that there still is a lot
to do and we will go to Turkey and will try to end up one or two
All Simonsen ran a long first stint, the Porsche, with the new Coopers
Ales stickers, running third once the rest of the class had pitted.
did another fantastic job, and enabled us to close the gap on the
fastest Porsches significantly, (we qualified 1.7 secs behind the
Sebah car) and it’s worthy to note that we are still 30 kilos
overweight and running an H pattern box,” explains Paul Daniels.
an exceptional first stint. Provided I could have maintained a pace
similar to my practice times (2.12 - 2.10s) we looked very good
for a top five finish, until O'Young in the GruppeM RSR out braked
himself and collected me at the Dunlop Curve. In fairness to Darryl,
he came to find me afterwards and apologised for his error, which
changed a driveshaft, rear upright and front damper, by which time
we had missed the chance to be classified, but decided to continue
for the benefit of race experience and exposure for the sponsors.
With little to risk, Allan went out with a brief to "give it
some stick", which he did in no uncertain terms, lapping in
the 2.04s at times, a second quicker than the Sebah car, and passing
the Autorlando Porsche (with its 3.8 litre Porsche development engine).
I completed the last 30 mins at a more sedate pace but avoiding
further dramas. It was a real shame: we could have scored some decent
points based on our pace, rather than attrition."
cannot drive for the team in Istanbul, owing to an Australian V8
commitment at Bathurst, “so we are looking for a potential
replacement - a very hard act to follow,” points out Paul
Daniels. “I wonder what Allan Simonsen could do in an LMP2
Porsche next year – it’s an interesting thought….”