Le Mans 24Hr Race

23 October 2012

The old cleshae its a marathon not a sprint definaelty applies to the Le Mans Race week, we have scrutineering on the Sunday of race week followed by early evening and night running on Wednesday and Thursday, if you have problems or incidents you are on the back foot all the way through. Fortunately the drivers did there bit and kept us on track, and once again we were performing well, qualifying is over two sessions and there is a performance window as day turns to night if you can get a clear lap. We primed John and the car and went for a run, as always John pulled out all the stops and even with some traffic put the car on pole position, a great result for John and the team at his first time at Le Mans.

John Martin going P1

With Pole position secure we focused on tyre endurance in preparation for the race, it is not all about qualifying but it means another point in the championship and keeps you out of trouble at the start of the race.

Friday is a preparation day with the car people completely stripped and parts swapped ready for the race, the big concern is the rain which is falling and could be around for the start of the race. Saturday is race start and we have an early start for warm up (which means a 24Hr race is actually more like a 36Hr body endurance) and it is raining hard, warm up is in terrible conditions and as Jan Charouz negotiates the puddles the traction control gets stuck at the minimum setting and send him spinning into the gravel. The guys work hard to get the car back in top shape ready for the race, it has stopped raining and the track is drying ready for race start. John starts the race and leads for the first hour but in the stop the car stalls and struggles to fire again dropping us down the order, John battles back through but it has all the signs of being a long hard race. All the drivers are racing well and we have climbed back to a top three position but then we have a problem when part of the bodywork comes loose, we have to pit for rectification, we are now well into the night and as the sun rises we have the same bodywork problem on the other side loosing more time in the pits. Gone are the days when you can afford to have a problem, this is a flat out race and any time lost is a real struggle to gain back, we have settled into a top six position which we hold to the end of the race. It’s a case of what might have been but we will take our experiences and be stronger next time.

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