PODIUM AND POINTS FOR HAPPY CREATION
From pole position yesterday to a storming drive through the field to take 2nd today in the 1000kms of Nurburgring, the electric blue Creation CA06/H was the car to watch today in Germany.
And Nicolas Minassian was certainly Creation's man of the race. "He's more than a mega today. He's a mega, mega!" said Ian Bickerton. "Beppe and Felipe both drove very well, but Nic was matchless, wasn't he? I didn't think he was going to be able to take 2nd as he kept hitting traffic but he kept the pressure on and it paid off."
After a difficult start away from pole position, Minassian drove a steady and mature two-hour stint, in high ambient and track temperatures, to hand over the car to team mate Beppe Gabbiani in 3rd place on the track. The Italian had a great run in the car, but was unlucky to suffer a right rear puncture which lost the team almost 2 laps and dropped him back to 7th on track.
After passing the wheel to Swiss-domiciled Felipe Ortiz, the Creation car continued to make steady progress -- helped a little by a Safety Car period which allowed the field to bunch up. A solid performance in the car, together with the misfortune of others, meant that when Minassian got back in for the final two hours, Creation was in p3 but some way behind the leading Pescarolo and second placed Dome.
Never one to give up, the Frenchman set about making up the shortfall and, with 30 minutes of the race to run and after an unexpected pit stop by the Racing for Holland Dome, he was just 7 seconds away from the Dutch car. Closing all the while, and putting continual pressure on Alex Yoong, the gap was down to 3.7 seconds with just nine minutes to go. The pressure finally paid off as Yoong made a mistake and allowed Minassian through for 2nd in the dying minutes of the race to take the team's first podium and points of the 2006 Le Mans season.
The British-based driver was naturally thrilled with the result. "I'm really happy as today we've proved the speed and reliability of the car. It couldn't have come at a better time for the team after the disappointment of Le Mans. They have proved they know where they are going, with their own car, and they really deserved this result. Both Beppe and Felipe were good today. Beppe showed he is a very quick driver and Felipe was very solid and consistent, and that's what is needed for endurance racing."