Disappointing ending in the Le Mans Series
SILVERSTONE - 12 SEPTEMBER 2010. This weekend the fifth and last race of the Le Mans Series 2010 was on the programme in Silverstone. Nicolas De Crem, Bernard Delhez and the young Austrian Dominik Kraihamer headed off for the British F1 circuit with every intention of defending and safeguarding their third place in the Formula Le Mans championship. Not an easy assignment, seeing all cars in the Formula Le Mans are on an equal par and as such the drivers and the strategy can make all the difference. Each problem can upset the plans and the ambitions of a team. Nicolas De Crem took a strong start in the last race of the season, but a exploded tyre within the first hour condemned the Boutsen Energy Racing trio to playing catch with the race leaders for five hours. Nicolas De Crem and his team mates finally finished fifth and the third place in the championship was lost.
Silverstone was the fifth meeting of the season, after Paul Ricard, Spa, Portimao and Hungary and before the final meeting in Silverstone Boutsen Energy Racing was heading for an excellent third place in the championship.
Nicolas De Crem: "For us the retirement in Paul Ricard, seeing it was an eight hour race and therefore for double points, was costly for us, because even with a third or fourth place there we would now be heading up the championship. But we can't cry over spilt milk and we must now make the best of it."
The free practice sessions went smoothly for the team and on Friday Nicolas De Crem finished respectively second and first, leaving high hopes for the qualifying sessions.
Olivier Laine (team manager): "Dominik set the fourth time in qualifying, a mere second from pole, but we are somewhat disappointed. The car is good and if we analyse the various sector times then we can see that we could easily have ended up on pole."
Just before noon on Sunday Nicolas De Crem took the start and drove a strong race until a sheared off wheel cost him several laps.
Nicolas De Crem: "The right rear tyre exploded and I slid into the sand trap, a real disappointment after my good start. We lost valuable time which we were unable to make up on the track. I still managed to set some strong lap times, but insufficient to reclaim six or seven laps. On top of that we have lost our podium place in the overall championship. I had expected an entirely different ending to this season."
Nicolas De Crem, Bernard Delhez and Dominik Kraihamer finally finished fifth in the race and fourth in the championship.