Tracsport On Mission To Secure Third in Championship at Spa
Tracsport travel to Spa Francorchamps next weekend (September 10-12) for the fourth and final round in the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series. The Daventry-based team will be out to defend their third place standing in LMP2 after a starter motor sensor failure robbed them of a certain podium position at Silverstone last time out.
The challenging 6.9km Spa circuit is a driver favourite as Rick Pearson (Maidstone) explains: "Spa has always been good to me with my best results of the year often coming in Belgium. I last raced there in 2003 in a national Clio 2.0 litre event and finished well inside the top ten against drivers who raced there every other week.
"Spa is often called a drivers circuit because it's somewhere that bravery can make a big difference. You still need a great set-up on the car to be able to take the big risks but the Tracsport mechanics are more than up to the task.
"We're on target to achieve our season goal of three finishes from three races plus we also have a great chance of ending the year within the top three placings in the championship standings. If we do that we'll hopefully be considered for a Le Mans entry in 2005. Everyone at Tracsport has made a huge effort to take this step forward over the past year so I hope we can secure third in the championship as just reward for their hard work. Whatever happens, we'll be going flat out for a good result."
John Gaw (Berkshire) is also a big fan of the Belgian track thanks to a memorable Caterham Eurocup race last season. "I'm really looking forward to the LMES race, the Grand Prix there last weekend has again demonstrated it's a place where exciting and unexpected things happen.
"Spa evokes great memories for me, having won my last race there last August to clinch the 2003 Caterham European Trophy."
After running as high as thirteenth overall at Silverstone before mechanical troubles took hold late in the race, Gaw promises spectators can look forward to a no-holds-barred effort from the Tracsport trio in round four.
"I think we're in with a real chance of a good result on Sunday," he said. "No other team has such consistency in terms of the drivers- we are all of a similar level, so we're in great shape within LMP2. Realistically, we have to drive for a championship finishing third position in class which means we need to finish in front of the WR and Palmyr. It'll be a challenge because that's the nature of endurance racing but it's definitely an achievable result."
John Ingram (London) is the only Tracsport driver not to have raced at Spa before but with Formula Three, Clio and Caterham experience under his belt, he is looking forward to putting the Lola through its paces at the legendary circuit. "I really can't wait to drive the Lola at Spa. It should be the most exciting and challenging race in the LMES calendar to date.
"Our main goals for the weekend are to score another podium position and to maintain our top three ranking in the championship standings. Although we were disappointed with the way things turned out at Silverstone, our overall performance was very encouraging. We made a big step forward in terms of qualifying and race pace. We were also well up on our nearest LMP2 rivals in the race and had a comfortable gap before the starter motor sensor failed.
"If we finish this year third in the LMP2 standings, we can all be very proud of a job well done. It will also put us in with a chance of being selected for the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hour race."
With forty-eight cars entered for the race, the fourth round of the Le Mans Endurance Series will boast one of the largest grids seen in the championship this year. Most notably, the Pescarolo team will make a welcome return to LMP1 and the works Luccini is slated to join the ranks of LMP2. Several Ferraris will be seen out in GTS while extra cars are also expected in the GT category. "It's a fabulous field combined with an awesome circuit," Pearson comments. "It will make great viewing whether you are watching trackside or following the action live on Motors TV on Sunday afternoon."
Tracsport are backed by No Fear, DMIPI, Man Financial Group and Carlube.