Taurus Sports -- What Could Have Been!
Donington Park, England, Saturday 9th August 2003: A weekend that promised so much ended with an early retirement for the all-British Taurus Sports Lola Judd B2K/10b in round five of the FIA Sportscar Championship at Donington Park.
With Justin Keen qualifying on the front row of the grid, and both Keen and Phil Andrews proving the competitiveness of the car throughout the weekend, there was every reason to be optimistic about the team's chances of a podium finish. However, in an international endurance race of two and a half hours duration and with 16 competitive cars and searing heat, nothing is guaranteed.
On lap 24, with Phil Andrews in fourth place, the front left wheel came free and with just three wheels in situ, Andrews was forced to crawl back to the pits for a replacement. The incident proved costly, six valuable minutes were lost, and Andrews joined the race back in 10th place. He moved up through the field taking 6th place before badly wearing brakes - probably a consequence of the heat - forced the car back to the pits for replacements.
The Taurus Sports car was now effectively out of contention for podium honours, it briefly returned to the track with Justin Keen posting several sub 1:30 laps, including a 1:28.5, demonstrating the car's competitiveness against the leaders and proving that, had the car not been forced to make two unscheduled stops, a top three finish was possible. The car eventually retired after 56 laps following further concerns about the effectiveness of the rear brakes.
With temperatures reaching over 33'C, the arduous conditions took their toll on the field and only six cars finished. The race was eventually won by Jan Lammers and John Bosch in the Racing for Holland Dome.
The next round of the FIA Sportscar Championship takes place in Spa, for the 1000km, on 31st August.