RUSSIAN AGE RACING LAMENTS CHINESE RETIREMENT The Russian Age Racing team left the Chinese circuit of Zhuhai frustrated after Christophe Bouchut crashed in the first hour on oil which the Frenchman claimed was not signalled by the marshals. The...
RUSSIAN AGE RACING LAMENTS CHINESE RETIREMENT
The Russian Age Racing team left the Chinese circuit of Zhuhai frustrated after Christophe Bouchut crashed in the first hour on oil which the Frenchman claimed was not signalled by the marshals. The Aston Martin DBR9 was leading the race comfortably and Bouchut was pulling away from second placed Pedro Lamy in the Larbre Ferrari 550 Maranello when he came upon the oil and spun off. Lamy also slithered off on the oil, as did Tim Sugden in the GruppeM Porsche.
Though Bouchut was buried in the gravel he was eventually able to return to the pits, where the team cleared out the debris from under the car. However, the excursion took the belt off the alternator and the car retired with a flat battery after just 12 laps.
"We had pole position, we were leading the race, and we had set fastest lap up to that point," said disappointed Cirtek team owner Rob Schirle. "Apparently there were no waved yellow and red flags after a Porsche had blown its engine.
"This is an FIA International event, and if we are to come to these places, they have to train the marshals properly. You don't get this sort of thing in Formula One and we should not get this in the FIA GT Championship either. There was about 30 metres of oil on the track. Lamy saw Christophe have a problem, but he went off too. We were pulling seven tenths of a second a lap on Lamy, and he was pulling about the same from the rest of the pack. In my opinion, we could have led at the end of that first stint by 20 to 30 seconds."
Bouchut, whose best race lap was a one minute, 32.108s which stood as the second fastest race lap overall, added: "That was a short race for me, unfortunately. It was a shame because the car was really quick and it was easy to show a good performance. It was easy to pull away from the others, but when I came to the oil, I didn't see any flags. When I braked, the car refused to stop or turn and I went straight into the gravel. Lamy was behind me and did the same thing. I was able to re-start again but we were again unlucky with the gravel and the alternator.
"It would have been easy to collect points but for those problems. However, I will have a good memory of China. That was a good pole position and in Dubai and Bahrain, we will again have a good car for qualifying."
Owing to the incident, Russian drivers Nikolay Fomenko and Alexey Vasiliev did not get the chance to drive during the race.