FISKEN STANDS OUT WITH IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE FOR COURAGE AT THE NURBURGRING Sportscar driver Gregor Fisken had perhaps the best drive of his career at the Nurburgring this weekend when having been handed the LMP1 class Courage-Mugen in 2nd...
FISKEN STANDS OUT WITH IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE FOR COURAGE AT THE NURBURGRING
Sportscar driver Gregor Fisken had perhaps the best drive of his career at the Nurburgring this weekend when having been handed the LMP1 class Courage-Mugen in 2nd place overall two hours into what was Round Three of the Le Mans Series, he not only kept the car in top-three contention but also made his mark by putting a move on the much-fancied Pescarolo.
Sadly the chance of a podium finish was ultimately scuppered when fuel-pressure problems intervened mid-race, loosing the team more than ten laps while the problem was fixed. Once back into the race however, a trouble-free charge to the flag resulted in a 14th place finish overall and 7th in class.
Courage team boss, Yves Courage, was delighted with Fisken's performance:
"When Gregor took over from Jean-Marc Gounon and rejoined the race in second place overall, he was under great pressure and I have to admit that we were not sure how he would cope. In the event he kept up the pace beautifully and did not put a foot wrong -- we were hugely impressed. Gregor does not have much experience with LMP1 cars but his pace, consistency and performance today against other leading cars and world-class drivers was superb, really a first class job. When I remind myself of the first time Gregor tested for us in Magny-Cours at the end of 2004, I noticed then how measured he was in his approach and that his driving was very clean and smooth. All of this was confirmed again today."
At the end of the race, a delighted Gregor Fisken said:
"Today was one of the best racing days of my career - despite the technical issues which held us back. I was overtaken by the leading Pescarolo when I started my first stint after taking over from Jean-Marc, but then I realised I could keep up with it, so I had a go at passing him back and it worked! I settled down after that and really enjoyed the car which was performing beautifully."
Sadly this impressive run was interrupted when fuel-pressure problems arose towards the end of Fisken's first stint:
"As I came down the back straight, the engine started to loose some power and I knew that it was the beginning of some problems. In the lower revs it was OK but when I was trying to get higher revs, the engine started to misfire. I adapted my driving style by short shifting to find higher gears but there is only so much you can do. To make things worse we had a problem with the radio -- the team could hear me but I could not hear them! Despite my lap times going up, they decided to keep me out until nearly the end of my first stint -- whilst they worked out what the problem might be. Finally, I came into the pits, still running second overall, and they wheeled the car into the garage to change the fuel pump. At the same time, the mechanics saw some excessive wear on the rear brakes and decided to use the opportunity to also replace the discs and pads.
"In total, we lost 20 minutes and over 10 laps. When I rejoined the race we were well down obviously, but the car was fabulous, and I just concentrated on improving my lap times and crawling back up the order. Later I handed the car to Alex Frei, lying 22nd overall and 7th in class. Alex did a great job with two strong stints and brought the car home 14th overall and 7th in class. I am sure that without the problems we could have easily finished on the podium today. This is very encouraging for the next race and I would like to thank the team for a superb weekend. I can't wait for Donington on 27th August," concluded Gregor.