CREATION TAKE FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON AT NURBURGRING Shinji Nakano today drove an excellent, marathon stint in the final three hours of the Nurburgring round of the 2007 Le Mans Series to take the Creation CA/07 to fifth place overall, and...
CREATION TAKE FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON AT NURBURGRING
Shinji Nakano today drove an excellent, marathon stint in the final three hours of the Nurburgring round of the 2007 Le Mans Series to take the Creation CA/07 to fifth place overall, and the new car's first points of the season.
Finishing behind the two diesel-powered Peugeots, a Pescarolo and a Charouz Lola, the Japanese driver had a great tussle for position with the Czech car in the closing stages of the race, narrowly losing out on fourth place just one lap before the chequered flag. The Creation had otherwise a relatively trouble-free run throughout the six-hour race with no unscheduled pit stops, few major reliability issues or technical problems.
Jamie Campbell-Walter started the race for the British team, but suffered from both tyre concerns and contact from another competitor. "It was a good result and nice to finish a race, especially after Le Mans. The team were mega at all the pit stops and, although we had a few problems, we got through them. It was a busy race though! I tried to do a double stint at the start with the tyres I qualified on, and that didn't really work. We then lost a bit of bodywork after Barbosa got a run on me during my second stint. He was on fresh tyres, moved across on me and hit me - I had nowhere to go because I was passing a Panoz at the time."
Completing a stint in the third hour of the race -- which was run in completely dry weather conditions - Felipe Ortiz said afterwards, "The car was very good. I lost a little time when I spun because of traffic -- there was a lot of traffic and the track was very dirty where GT cars had spun and brought gravel onto the circuit. I think fifth is quite a good result for the car's first race and we now know a lot more about its performance levels and what areas we have to work on for the rest of the season."
Nakano, who stepped from the car looking as fresh as if he'd just got in it, despite having had no traction control and worn tyres by the end of his stint, said, "Everything went well for me. The car was pretty good, although it was sliding a bit towards end which you would expect considering the tyres had done two stints. Dunlop did a good job. The handling wasn't great as we'd lost a little bit of downforce at the rear of the car after earlier contact but it was okay."
Creation's Team Principal, Ian Bickerton, was full of praise for his international driver line up. "Shinji did a really great job, under increasingly difficult conditions towards the end as we also had a few overheating issues which were giving us some cause for concern. Felipe too was very solid, especially at the start of his stint, although he struggled a bit as the tyres went off. We need to do a lot more work to improve the balance of the car, which will help all the drivers, but it's still all pretty new to us and we're learning all the time.
"I think we can sum up today by saying it's a work in progress. We did okay to finish fifth, and to just miss out on fourth by under a second is tough. We've shown again that we can have an interesting driver line up and still do okay."