Road Atlanta: Creation Autosportif race report

CREATION TEAM FINISH 2ND IN LMP CLASS AND 5TH OVERALL It was a perfect example of what the Creation team do best. Never give up. After starting from the back of the grid for today's tenth running of the prestigious Petit Le Mans event at...

CREATION TEAM FINISH 2ND IN LMP CLASS AND 5TH OVERALL

It was a perfect example of what the Creation team do best. Never give up. After starting from the back of the grid for today's tenth running of the prestigious Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta, the CA07-Judd -- driven by Jamie Campbell-Walter, Harold Primat and Christophe Tinseau -- finished in a superb fifth overall and stood proudly on the second step of the LMP1 podium alongside Audi R10 race winners, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. The decision to change tyres after qualifying meant a penalty of losing grid position.

The majority of the race was relatively trouble free, although a starter motor issue and two punctures prevented Creation from finishing even higher in the final classification. As always, the situations were handled calmly and competently by the Creation crew. Contact by another prototype just 20 miles before the end of the 1000 mile race caused a great deal of alarm to all those watching as Christophe Tinseau brought a heavily smoking car into the pits. The nudge on the rear right bodywork had caused it to rub on the tyre which looked more dramatic than it was and, fortunately, originally feared.

Team Principal Ian Bickerton was, along with the entire team, overjoyed with the result. "That's all right isn't it? Second place for the team is brilliant and for the car is superb. We've only done four races with it now if you don't count Le Mans and we've come a long way -- and there's still more to come. We've still got to get qualifying right; that was a bit of a mess. But to come from dead last to fifth place overall with the few problems along the way...yes, we did all right."

Jamie Campbell-Walter, who had started the 394-lap, 9 hour 18 minute race, said, "It's fantastic. This race is, with Sebring, one of the biggest sportscar races in America. It's a great feeling and all credit to everyone involved -- the boys, the team, the Dunlop tyres, Judd. Everything. It was a good week at the beginning, it got progressively worse and qualifying was terrible. In the end we made a few good, little changes for the race and the car was really good, perhaps a bit too much understeer, but we had pretty much a faultless run apart from a couple of punctures and the starter motor issue. I'm really happy though and second in LMP1 here is great."

Harold Primat finished on the podium in his last race for Creation at Laguna Seca last year, and has now improved that result with the 2nd place in class finish. "When we tested the car on Sunday it was quite quick but after a while, when the race weekend started, we couldn't find the performance we had on the Sunday test. We were fighting understeer. We made a change in the warm up and it worked, and the car was really good in the race. It was really good, even from the back, to come 2nd in LMP1, 5th overall.

"My stints in the car were full of events. I had to avoid a big crash between three other prototypes, going over the grass to avoid it, and then in my second stint I came across the Corvette accident with the #26 Acura. It was a long race and you had to be careful and push hard, but always keep your eyes open. Other than that, I had a puncture on the straight, just before the chicane, which wasn't a nice feeling! Luckily we were able to fix it really quickly back in the pits.

"It's brilliant to come back from the States with something; a big trophy in your bag. Now I will have to go out and buy some new luggage but it's all good news!"

Christophe Tinseau became a firm favourite with the team, fitting in very quickly with his new surroundings. "It's been really good to be back at Road Atlanta, and to finish on the LMP1 podium -- something I have been lucky enough to do before here. We were a bit lucky at the end. I was keeping out of the way of the leaders, on the left of the track, but one of them touched me at the rear and the engine cover then rubbed on the tyre.

"At the last LMS race I did with Harold, we didn't finish because of a starter problem so when we started to get problems here too with the starter I was worried. It was a very good result and I'm very happy. I hope I can come back here again next year because I like the track very much."

-credit: www.creationsport.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Allan McNish , Christophe Tinseau , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Harold Primat , Dindo Capello