Farnbacher Loles Racing earned a top-five GT2 finish in the American Le Mans Series race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, after a bizarre battle with an ice box used to cool water for the drivers' cool suits. Australian Alex...
Farnbacher Loles Racing earned a top-five GT2 finish in the American Le Mans Series race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, after a bizarre battle with an ice box used to cool water for the drivers' cool suits.
Australian Alex Davison drove the first race stint, starting the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fifth on the 14-car GT2 grid. He held his position through the first 53 minutes of 100-minute race, then was forced to pit under green-flag conditions because of problems caused by the ice box, which had come loose in the car. The box hit the car's ignition switch several times, cutting the engine power, and also stopped radio communication, so Davison could not alert the crew to the problem.
He pitted for a driver change and Marc Basseng of Leutenbach, Germany, took over. He returned to the track 13th and one lap behind the class leader, then lost another lap as a caution period started two minutes later, allowing the other cars to pit under caution. Basseng fought back through the field and finished fifth.
Alex Davison: "That was really disappointing because we were running quite well; our times were more or less the same as the leading cars. Unfortunately, the cool box came loose in the car. It was flying around all over the cockpit, hitting up to the windscreen, over on my lap and just smashing into everything. Four or five times, it switched the ignition off. At the same time, all the water had leaked out of the box and was leaking out of the car and going on the tires. Two times when the car stopped, another car hit me from behind. I thought, 'This is dangerous. We're going to get taken out,' so I came in the pits. But the cool box whacking into the radio must have done something, so we had no communication. I came in and jumped out and I signalled -- held the cool box up -- and I thought the guys saw it, but by the time I got back to the pits, I realized Marc had driven off and it was still in there. It's a pity because we ended up stopping under green and it cost us two positions."
Marc Basseng: "We only finished fifth and we were two laps behind, but again, we showed we have a really good car and we are a good team. The cool box got loose in the car, so I was fighting with a 10-kilogram [22-pound] cool box during the safety car. I couldn't handle the car with the loose cool box on the passenger seat, so first I removed the ice, but it still wasn't good. So I disconnected the cool box and threw it out of the car. After the restart, I was behind the three leading cars and I was going the same [lap] times -- sometimes quicker -- and I think that really shows that we are a good team and we have a good car. Next time, I hope we have a little bit more luck to get a victory."