Silverstone; Alternator glitch stops Johansson-Matthews Team

SILVERSTONE, England-As has been the case for Johansson-Matthews Racing this season, the team's Reynard 2KQ/Judd was fast, competitive and hampered by mechanical problems that ultimately sidelined the car 32 laps into the 500-kilometer ...

SILVERSTONE, England-As has been the case for Johansson-Matthews Racing this season, the team's Reynard 2KQ/Judd was fast, competitive and hampered by mechanical problems that ultimately sidelined the car 32 laps into the 500-kilometer event. The race, the third of the 2000 season in the American Le Mans Series, was the Silverstone 500 USA Challenge and represented a homecoming of sorts for drivers Stefan Johansson and Guy Smith. Johansson had last raced there in 1991 attempting to qualify for the British Grand Prix while Smith last competed there in the British Formula Three in 1997. After a promising qualifying effort which netted the team sixth starting position, Johansson drove the first stint and moved up to fifth only to have brake cooler fail, causing him to spin on Lap 10. Johansson was able to get the car back to the pit for repairs, but six laps were lost in the process. "The spin I had was caused by the break pedal going to the floor," Johansson explained. "The cooling hose on the right front caliper had come undone and caused the brakes to overheat and boil the brake fluid. Hence, there was no pedal." Smith took over and proceeded to set the second fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately, the alternator had apparently been damaged in the Lap 10 spin and by Lap 32, Smith was in the pits for good. The dashboard electronics had shut off and the damaged alternator forced the team to retire. Johansson and Smith finished 34th out of 35 starters. "We are encouraged by the progress made since Sebring, and the car was really run in Le Mans spec at Silverstone which normally requires a lot more downforce than Le Mans," Johansson continued. "Reliability has been our biggest obstacle this season. I think once we get the car sorted out, it is going to be very, very good." "As our lap times indicate, this car is very competitive," Smith added. "I really believe that if we had not encountered the problems we had, we possibly could have had a podium finish. When the car is right, we are fast. Now we just have to get some reliability so we can start scoring finishes." Next up for the team will be the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, set for June 17-18.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith