Team tips ...
Based in England, some 20 miles from the famous Silverstone circuit, Creation has been in existence for nearly 4 years.
Owned and run by Ian Bickerton and Mike Jankowski, the team is small compared to some. Seven full time employees and a few weekend warriors. But that hasn't capped their plans or ambitions.
They have competed for the last two years in the Le Mans Series, this year with their own chassis -- the Creation CA06/H-Judd, a 'hybrid' car similar to the French Pescarolo Sport car. Second place in this year's Teams' Championship gives them an automatic entry to the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Creation last raced in the USA in the final two races of the 2004 American Le Mans Series, Petit Le Mans and Laguna, with a DBA-Zytek (see Creation CA06 Timeline story). Minassian claimed 2nd and pole position starts, but an engine problem (Petit Le Mans) and a water pump failure (Laguna) brought their challenge for victory to a premature end.
Since last Wednesday (September 20) the team has travelled to Spain, competed in the six-hour final round of the Le Mans Series, stripped the race car for spares, packed and shipped 3000 kilos of freight to the US, and got themselves from one continent to another with little sleep and a great deal of good humour!
Creative people ...
Jamie Campbell-Walter (33) used to be in the British Army -- the Queens Royal Lancers, a light tank regiment. In a little over ten years he's gone from tank driver to racing driver! A former FIA GT and British GT Champion, he's rated by his team as one of Britain's top sportscar drivers.
Nicolas Minassian (33) is one of life's 'fun' people. Established instantly as a character in the 2001 CART series when he drove for Ganassi Racing, the Frenchman loves the Road Atlanta track. He thinks it is a "ballsy" track -- just the sort he likes! The Frenchman -- a real Anglophile - is married to an English girl and has lived permanently in the UK for the last 5 years.
Harold Primat (31) aims to be the first Swiss driver to get back on a Le Mans podium since Laurent Ferrier and Francois Trisconi in 1979. The super-fit Swiss driver is an International Business Studies graduate, working in New York for a while before abandoning the world of finance for a full time motor racing career. He has family in the US, and made his racing debut in the 1999 US F2000 Series.
Practice chat ...
The "Blue Rocket" CA06/H lived up to its name this morning by topping the time sheets in the second of the three free practice sessions for Saturday's Petit Le Mans race. But Nic Minassian is not getting carried away:
"All the sessions have been good so far and this morning was really good but I'm not getting carried away with it all. We know that this is only practice and everyone's doing different things.
"The Creation car is running very well and it's behaving just like the competitive car we've had for every race this year except Jarama. Now we are working on it a bit more and making sure we all get time behind the wheel. It's great driving with Jamie again [for the first time this season] and Harold is doing a good job and has been improving each time he goes out. There's a lovely atmosphere and the three of us are gelling really well.
"But, you know, the best thing of all is being back racing in America. It's fantastic here and there's a really special, racing ambiance. I'm loving it!"
Tech talk ...
For the Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca rounds of the American Le Mans Series, Creation will be running the CA06/H according to the IMSA regulations and not the ACO's, taking advantage of the 860kg weight limit (as opposed to 925kg) and using the 95 litre fuel capacity (as opposed to 90 litre).