Catalunya: JWA team race report

1000kms de Catalunya The opening round of the 2008 Le Mans Series was held in brilliant sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona last weekend. The two car JWA team saw the worldwide race debut of the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 alongside...

1000kms de Catalunya

The opening round of the 2008 Le Mans Series was held in brilliant sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona last weekend. The two car JWA team saw the worldwide race debut of the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 alongside the Martini homage liveried Porsche 997 RSR.

The debut of the Aston was limited to free practice and qualifying where it proved to be most impressive. The car was always in the top eight and was seen to be overtaking the fastest of the Ferraris in a straight line and catching Porsche in acceleration out of corners. However the whole team and Aston Martin suffered a huge set back when a minor engine problem that was unfixable in the field necessitated the withdrawal of the car.

Car 95 ran with normal Porsche reliability to finish in a very pleasing eighth place having during the course of the six hour race had contact with in no particular order -- an LMP1 Peugeot, a GT2 Ferrari and the gravel on two occasions. The competence of the drivers in keeping the car on the track and out of any trouble must be recognised as a great feat.

Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge (MEEC)

On our return to the Workshop JWA were pleasantly surprised to find that they had scooped third place in the MEEC a simple speed and distance travelled versus fuel consumed giving a factor. The best place team at the end of the year receiving an entry in the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours. A great prize for a competition that is an added bonus within the championship.

Drivers

The driver line ups were confirmed so late that we were unable to announce prior to the event. Thus here a quick introduction to who drove for JWA in Barcelona

Porsche 95 was driven by Markus Palttala from Finland who has been racing GT cars for many years now. He has raced mainly in Fia GTs in the last years, is quick and consistent. Did a great job in Spain. We hope he will be on board for the season.

Michael Forsten also from Finland is better known as a world class show jumper and compliments his busy horse life by taking part in endurance races. His ability showed as he qualified and started the car. Looks unlikely to be available for Monza due to a clashing commitment, namely the show jumping world cup, Michael will be the first Finn ever to have qualified and all at JWA wish him good fortune in Qatar

Paul Daniels the car owner put in a great performance during warm up -- being right on the pace on in and out laps and getting down to a 1.54 lap.

Aston 93 was to be pedalled by Alan van der Merwe the world's fastest formula 1 driver when he drove a Honda F1 car on the Bonneville salt flats at over 400km/h. Alan gave a very professional performance who played a great team game.

Stephane Lemeret from Belgium who has a long pedigree in Belgian one make championship and in recent years the Fia GT championship. He showed great pace and commitment when in the car and we hope he will be back.

Michael Outzen from the Danish touring car championship. Matched both the other drivers for pace but may not be back for Monza due to his touring car commitments.

History

The Le Mans 24 Hours has since its inception had a separate competition for the most economical car. This index of thermal efficiency was extremely an extremely complicated set of regulations to calculate how efficient a car was. This competition rewarded swift economical cars that probably had no chance of overall victory. The index of performance being won in the early 60's by a Lotus 11 and in the late 60's by a Mini Marcos.

-credit: jwa

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Alan van der Merwe , Paul Daniels , Stéphane Lemeret , Markus Palttala , Michael Outzen