Silverstone: Zytek preview

Ginetta-Zytek Leads Championship Into Final Round LMP2 class leaders and former World Champion race Repton-built cars Championship leader, Quifel-ASM Team will be amongst those entering Ginetta-Zyteks for Sunday's Autosport 1,000km of ...

Ginetta-Zytek Leads Championship Into Final Round

LMP2 class leaders and former World Champion race Repton-built cars

Championship leader, Quifel-ASM Team will be amongst those entering Ginetta-Zyteks for Sunday's Autosport 1,000km of Silverstone. Its GZ09S LMP2 will be just one of six Zytek-engined cars racing in what will be the fifth and final round of the 2009 Le Mans Series.

Twenty-seven year old Olivier Pla from Toulouse and 55-year old Miguel Amaral, who hails from Lisbon, currently lead the LMS LMP2 Drivers' Championship. Their 32 points puts them nine points ahead of their nearest rivals. They also have twice as many points as the third placed drivers. (Just 10 points are available for a win plus an additional point for pole position.) The situation is the same in the Team Championship with Lisbon-based Quifel-ASM in an equally commanding position.

The Franco-Portuguese pairing has been the dominant force in the LMP2 class this year having won the third and fourth rounds (Algarve and Nurburgring) in commanding style taking pole position, leading for virtually all of the race and scoring fastest lap. During round two (Spa), Oliver quickly moved into the lead after the start only to be forced off the road by an errant LMP1 car. At the opening round (Barcelona) the pair finished in a fighting second place, having led in the early stages.

The Quifel-ASM Ginetta-Zytek will be joined in the LMP2 class by the GAC Racing Team Zytek 07S of Karim Ojjeh, Claude-Yves Gosselin and Philipp Peter, which has also been a podium winner this season. Two other LMP2 contenders will use the Zytek 3.4-litre ZG348 engine. As usual, these will include the WR Salini of the Salini brothers, Stephane and Philippe, and Tristan Gommendy. A welcome addition will be a revised WF01 from Team WFR. This will be the first appearance of the year for the car which was one of last season's regulars. The drivers will be Indianapolis 500 racer Darren Manning, experienced sportscar competitor Warren Hughes and this year's British GT4 champion Jody Firth.

"I always enjoy working with Zytek," says Darren. "They are a very professional group of guys and build a quick and reliable engine."

Darren will not be the only former Indy 500 contestant to drive a Zytek-engined car this weekend. British motor racing icon and 1992 Formula One World Champion, Nigel Mansell returns to Silverstone, the scene of some of his most famous victories, to drive the Team LNT Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S LMP1. Partnering him will be his son, Greg and team owner Lawrence Tomlinson. Also entering a 4.5-litre LMP1 GZ09S will be local team, Strakka Racing. Both drivers Danny Watts (the pole winner at Barcelona) and Nick Leventis have considerable experience of the Northamptonshire circuit and again promise to be among the front-runners.

-credit: zytek

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Series European Le Mans
Drivers Darren Manning , Nigel Mansell , Warren Hughes , Tristan Gommendy , Olivier Pla , Miguel Amaral , Claude-Yves Gosselin , Lawrence Tomlinson , Karim Ojjeh , Philipp Peter , Nick Leventis , Jody Firth , Danny Watts
Teams Strakka Racing , Team LNT