News and notes 2007-06-30

NURBURGRING NEXT ON LE MANS SERIES TITLE CHASE THURSDAY, 28 JUNE: After completing the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans, many of the race teams have only had two weeks to prepare their cars for this weekend's third round of the 2007 Le Mans...

NURBURGRING NEXT ON LE MANS SERIES TITLE CHASE

THURSDAY, 28 JUNE: After completing the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans, many of the race teams have only had two weeks to prepare their cars for this weekend's third round of the 2007 Le Mans Series at the Nurburgring.

Nineteen Le Mans Series teams completed the 24 Hour journey at Le Mans, and all have faced a race against time to get ready for the Nurburgring event. The German race is the third round of the 2007 Championship which will also visit Silverstone on September 16.

While the Noel del Bello Courage team lost the battle to repair its crashed Le Mans chassis in time for the this weekend, British racer Martin Short and his Rollcentre Racing squad have faced an easier preparation.

Joined by young Brit, Stuart Hall and Portuguese racer Joao Barbosa -- Short enjoyed an outstanding day at Le Mans finishing fourth outright.

"Our results at Le Mans was certainly better than we expected," Short said.

"Having two Audis crash out and a Peugeot finish in the garage obviously did us a lot of favours. However, we had no problems at all throughout the race and didn't push overly hard -- the car was still in great shape at the end of the race. Despite the conditions, it really was the easiest Le Mans I have ever done.

"Other than routine maintenance, our Pescarolo was virtually untouched after the race. We opened up the gearbox after 24 hours and it was still perfect inside."

While Le Mans was a highlight for Short, he is looking to bounce back from the previous Le Mans Series round at Valencia in Spain where he missed out on a podium result in the final minutes of the race.

"Valencia was pretty disappointing because we had a freak suspension failure with only 10 minutes to go while running second," Short said.

"The Nurburgring this week will be a bit of a lottery because it looks like the weather is going to be wet. Both my team-mates, however, are excellent in the damp -- especially Stuart."

Short is eagerly awaiting the chance to do battle on home soil in September at Silverstone. The British race will be the final European event of 2007 and the penultimate race of the season prior to the season-closer at Sao Paulo in Brazil.

"Silverstone is probably going to suit our car better than any other circuit in the championship," Short said.

"We've tested the Pescarolo there and it was very strong. The high speed turns of Silverstone are perfect for our package."

PIT STOPS VITAL FOR LE MANS SERIES SUCCESS

Time spent in pitlane can be a key factor in the success or failure of a Le Mans Series campaign.

With an "LM"P1 prototype team making up to four or five scheduled pit stops during the 1000km race, minimising the time spent in pit lane is vital.

Pit stop rules in the Le Mans Series are actually very unique. Unlike Formula 1, refuelling must be completed before team members can change tyres on the car.

This results in considerably longer stops than those that will be seen at next week's British Grand Prix.

Teams can also elect to save time by not performing a driver change and double-stinting the tyres -- using the same set of tyres for two complete fuel loads.

Traditionally in those situations, the drivers will also complete a double-stint. Refuelling takes around 30 seconds -- usually not enough time to complete a driver change.

A full pit-stop with fuel, tyres and driver change can take up to 55 seconds - providing plenty of action in pit lane.

CATCH THE ACTION LIVE AT SILVERSTONE

Silverstone's round of the 2007 Le Mans Series will be staged from 14-16 September.

The race provides the tens of thousands of British fans who visit the Le Mans 24 Hour each year with another chance to see the world's finest sportscars in action including the new diesel-powered Peugeot 908 HDi prototypes which won the opening two rounds of the 2007 Championship.

Tickets for the Silverstone round of the series can be booked online Click here or call Silverstone on 08704 588 260.

This Sunday's Nurburgring round of the Le Mans Series will be broadcast live on Motors TV from 10.30am.

Following the German event, the championship will visit the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on 18 Augsut before heading to Silverstone.

15 April: Monza -credit: lms

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