SEBRING IS A STRUGGLE BUT CRS CAN SHINE AT SPA
CRS Racing competed in its first American sportscar race yesterday: Round One of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Sebring in Florida. After running third in class for much of the 12-hour race, the No.62 CRS Ferrari retired after nine and a half hours of flat out racing.
Qualifying is going to be tough for the CRS Ferrari throughout the ILMC season as it is the only car in the LM GTE Am class with a fully non-professional driver line-up. All of the other cars in that class have at least one professional on board who can jump in for the ‘hero lap’ in qualifying. Nevertheless Pierre Ehret took to the track on Friday and put the Ferrari on the grid in fifth place.
After Saturday morning’s warm up session the eagle-eyed CRS crew spotted a small fuel leak so opted to get everything fixed and miss the grid so they actually took the race start from the pit lane.
Once the race got underway Ehret was immediately on a charge and was up to third place by the end of the first hour. Although he has raced with prototypes before, Roger Wills and Shaun Lynn had to get used to mixing it with the faster cars very quickly.
The Ferrari ran faultlessly for the first nine and a half hours of the race but a broken radio meant that the team couldn’t communicate with the drivers in the car. As a result of this they couldn’t get Roger Wills’ attention quickly enough to tell him he needed to refuel. It was a heartbreaking moment when the car ran out of fuel just as Roger was on his in lap.
“The positive we can take away from this weekend is that we now know we have three very strong drivers in our ILMC car,” said CRS MD, Mark Busfield, “The average of three good amateurs should be a match for the other teams with a single professional driver in their cars. I think that once we get into Europe we will be strong so we’re looking forward to Spa.”
The Spa round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cups takes place on 7 May but for CRS the attention now turns to Paul Ricard for Round One of the Le Mans Series on 3 April.
-source: crs racing