Broken suspension halts run toward GT1-victory
Carlo van Dam impresses at Okayama
Okayama - Dutchman Carlo van Dam today impressed during his first outing in the Asian Le Mans Series. At the Okayama-circuit in Japan, where he had yesterday claimed pole position in the Saleen S7R entered by the French team Larbre Competition, he drove the car into winning position in the GT1-class during the first 500 KM-race of the weekend. Shortly after Carlo handed over the Saleen to his Belgian team mate Lemeret, however, the car's front suspension broke, ending what looked like a run to victory in the GT1-class.
"It went really well", says Carlo, who was satisfied with his race despite the car not making it to the finish. "Berville, my other team mate, did the start and although we knew he might have some difficulty maintaining first position, he managed to not lose too much time. It was my turn then, and from very the first lap it just went great.
At the end of my stint I had taken the car back into winning position and it looked like we were indeed going to win this race, but then, unfortunately, the front suspension broke." The press release issued by the organisers after the race, wrongly stated that Carlo was behind the wheel when the Larbre-Saleen retired. "In fact, I had already handed the car over to Lemeret by then", Carlo explains. "After he had done some three laps, the suspension failed."
Despite this spoiling what looked like a certain class-win, Carlo still had a good feeling about the race. "I had a good race, got the best out of the car and took it into winning position. The team was happy with my performance, so all in all this wasn't a bad day, although I would rather had seen us finishing and winning the race of course!" Tomorrow (Sunday), the second 500 KM-race of the Asian Le Mans Series-weekend at Okayama will be held, in which the Larbre-Saleen S73 will again start from pole position.