First points of '09 for Full Speed Racing at Adria Full Speed Racing scored its first FIA GT Championship points of the season at Adria in Italy on Saturday after Stephane Lemeret and Luke Hines put in an excellent performance to bring the...
First points of '09 for Full Speed Racing at Adria
Full Speed Racing scored its first FIA GT Championship points of the season at Adria in Italy on Saturday after Stephane Lemeret and Luke Hines put in an excellent performance to bring the team's No.11 Saleen home sixth.
The pair lined up ninth on the grid after a clutch problem in qualifying had prevented the car from running at optimum performance. There were no such worries for team mates Michel Orts and Ferdinando Monfardini however, the latter producing an excellent effort at his home round to qualify sixth, just over a second off of pole position.
The two hour race on Saturday evening started at 19.50pm local time, meaning that the cars and drivers would be racing into the dusk. Monfardini started at the wheel of the No.13 S7R where he initially made good progress, climbing up two positions to fourth by quarter distance.
The cooler temperatures were suiting Pirelli's harder compound tyres and a good finish looked on the cards. Misfortune however, was about to strike. A problem with the water pump sent the car's temperature skyrocketing to 110 degrees leaving the Italian with little choice but to retire.
Meanwhile, thanks to a new clutch fitted over night and the grippier Pirelli rubber, the No.11 entry was fairing much better. Lemeret took the start, immediately setting about those in front and was running fifth by the time he handed over to Hines. A solid middle stint by the Englishman followed before Lemeret returned to reel off the final half-hour untroubled and score the team's first three championship points for sixth.
Full Speed Racing Team Manager Graham Nash said, "We've made an excellent step forward this weekend thanks to the two new engines. The Pirelli tyres also worked much better than at Silverstone in the opening round so a huge thanks to everyone involved there. Obviously we're disappointed not to have both cars in the points as Ferdinando had been driving very well all weekend before the water pump problem scuppered what looked like a top five finish. I am delighted though to have our first points of the season so congratulations to Stephane and Luke who put in an excellent performance to climb from ninth to sixth by the end.
"We'll be testing again at Silverstone on May 20 where we'll hope to find some extra performance through set-up and greater understanding of the tyres so we can be even more competitive in Germany."
No.11 Full Speed Racing driver Stephane Lemeret said, "It feels great to have got Full Speed Racing's first ever points, especially as we had to fight our way through to get them. With a new clutch there were no problems at all and the car ran faultlessly. Our car had a new engineer - Andreas Leberle -- for this round and we really made the most of his experience. Hopefully we can continue to benefit from his knowledge during the next race at Oschersleben."
Full Speed Racing will be back in FIA GT action on June 20/21 at the Oschersleben circuit, Germany.