LMES lead for Convers Team
The Convers Team has moved into the lead of both the teams' and drivers' tables of the Le Mans Endurance Series after a difficult but successful six-hour race at Silverstone. Christophe Bouchut and Alexey Vasiliev finished second in the GT1 class, seventh overall, to move three points clear at the head of both tables. Their cause was helped by the performance of the team's Aston Martin DBR9, driven by Nikolay Fomenko, Darren Turner and Marc Goossens, which finished fourth in class and take valuable points from the opposition.
The race took place in difficult conditions which led to spins and accidents and kept the safety car on the circuit for more than a third of the distance. "We came here with the intention to lead the championship, and that is what we have done," said team owner Rob Schirle. "We had hoped to be first and second, but we will settle for second and fourth! This was a good result for the team."
The Ferrari lost time early on when Bouchut thought he had a puncture and pitted when the weather was at its worst. A long stop followed as the team fitted the correct tyres to the car, but even Bouchut found it difficult to drive on the wet circuit. "I was aquaplaning behind the safety car," said the Frenchman. "When you brake so early for the corners and the back of the car is skidding you have no chance." The two drivers survived the worst of the weather and brought the car home.
The Aston Martin drivers had a tough time, Marc Goossens starting on hard compound Michelin rubber and the Belgian found he could not get the necessary heat into the tyres to generate grip. Darren Turner took over the car with softer tyres, but in the confusion of the safety car he was passed by a prototype under yellow flag conditions. Turner was allowed by the prototype to re-take his position on the track, but he was penalised by the stewards for illegally overtaking. The team had to bring Turner in early to answer to the stewards, just as another safety car period began, and they lost two laps.
"The safety car came in, and Darren was right behind it," said Goossens. "By the time I got out again, the safety car had gone back out again and we lost the time. Choosing the wrong tyre at the start did not help and we had not got the car set-up perfectly, so there is plenty more to come from the car."