FRUSTRATING START AT LE MANS FOR FISKEN Gregor Fisken and the Courage Competition number 12 car had a frustrating start to the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans. A mechanical failure during Fisken's second stint led to a huge time loss, as he returned...
FRUSTRATING START AT LE MANS FOR FISKEN
Gregor Fisken and the Courage Competition number 12 car had a frustrating start to the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans. A mechanical failure during Fisken's second stint led to a huge time loss, as he returned the car to the pits and the team carried out repairs.
Team-mate Sam Hancock took the start of the race at 5pm local time but immediately realised the car was experiencing huge understeer. Alexander Frei and Fisken each took the car out for a single stint but they lost time early on in the race when they were forced to pit while the Courage team repaired a broken exhaust pipe.
Fisken set out at the beginning of his second stint, which was to be a double session but almost immediately noticed problems. "The car felt like the steering track rod was starting to break and spread the front wheels. I compensated and was actually enjoying it -- the times were also quite good.
"However, at the Ford chicane, I hit what felt like oil on the circuit and just missed going off the circuit. Then, at the fast right-hander, I turned in and there was just no steering and I slid off gently into the gravel. I got towed out but then had a really painful journey all the way the whole circuit, back to the pits. If I turned left, the car would go right, and vice versa."
Fisken was also forced to stop at the Arnage corner, as he didn't have sufficient steering lock to get round the corner. However, he was able to return the car to the Courage garage for repairs. "When we got the car back, we found out that it was, in fact, a broken upright. We lost lots of time and dropped to 39th but there's a long way to go, so what the hell!"
The sister car had already retired from the race, so Fisken and his team-mates are now upholding the Courage Competition honours in the LMP1 category. "Now the other car is out, we're getting lots of attention, so we really need to bring the car home. The tyres are working quite well but I don't think we have the right suspension set-up to make the most of them yet. We've made some changes and hopefully, some improvements as well."