Progress Despite Misfire For Green Fuel Nasamax at Le Mans 24 Hours
As the sun rose at the Sarthe circuit, the 5 litre Nasamax Judd V10 continued on its way, clocking up laps. The misfire was still there. 'I've decided to make a friend of it,' said John McNeil. 'But I don't want to take it home with me...' The misfire had been with the team since the start of the race.
Robbie Stirling handed over to Werner Lupberger at 5.55 after a quadruple stint. "I was staying out of trouble and avoiding everyone's accidents,' said Robbie, 'and putting in consistent laps times to climb the leader board, plus avoiding any penalties for pit lane entry, etc. At one stop, the team found a huge piece of tyre carcass inside the bodywork, which must have been sucked in during the darkness hours. I was lucky not to get involved in the Courage - Corvette incident at Indianapolis, when I arrived 20 seconds behind then. We all had to brake to avoid passing under the yellow flag.
A change of starter motor was required when the solenoid started to stick. For two pit stops, a few sharp bangs worked, but there were worries about what would happen if the car stopped out on the circuit. Kevin rejoined the race only to return immediately reporting very low revs. This was traced to another injector connector wire, the second this week, while preparing to change the actual injectors. During Robbie's following stint, John McNeil worked out some remapping of the engine to make the car more comfortable with the ever-present misfire, with Robbie returning for small changes.
The car is now running to a reasonable engine balance in 21st position after 277 laps.
Hopes are high for the team to perhaps gain a few more places with its steady pace and run to the chequered flag after a problem solving qualifying and race. Interestingly, none of the problems over the last week have been caused by the wholly renewable fuel bio-ethanol.
The team is also running the Astek NBS fire protection system which removes oxygen from the air as it enters the fuel tank, rendering it less combustible. This high alternative technology is widely used in commercial aviation and industry and this is the second racing car to run it, the first being Nasamax's Reynard last year.