Green Fuel Nasamax Judd V10 Rises Through The Leaderboard
Werner Lupberger's wishes for a boring race with uninterrupted stints may have come true after all. In the last 8 hours, the team has settled into a pattern of multiple stints with all drivers, no longer troubled by the earlier race problems except the misfire. At 2100, Robbie Stirling had been in 38th position. By 0420, this was 21st position, despite the drivers having to live with the misfire that has plagued the normally reliable Judd engine.
Werner Lupberger had taken over during a yellow caution period. The stop saw the Astek supported car in position 34, and the engine map was modified. The next regular stops for fuel and tyres saw 4 more places drop away and the car in 30th after 8 hours and 47 minutes of running (at 00.47 hours).
Werner completed a solid treble stint and made use of a tyre change to hand over. 'It's very interesting out there. There are people flying off all over the place, perhaps a few who are new to Le Mans, plus the track is so dirty, worse than ever. I love doing night driving, it's so much fun. You need to carry more speed into the corner to work with the misfire. I love Indianapolis at night, I think it's the scariest bit. You can't see a thing and then there is this fast corner. I like scary stuff I guess ...'
Kevin then ran for a quadruple stint (four times 10 laps) in the consistent 3 minute 50s. After an hour, there was a worry when the starter motor would not engage. The engine was still misfiring and now using a little more fuel, possibly because of the air temperature. As a precaution because of the misfire, the stints have been shortened to 9 laps, although at last there was a tyre compound that worked for the balance. At 0319, the car was in 22nd position. 'We tried 2 sets of tyres,' said a relaxed Kevin McGarrity when he got out of the car. 'The second set was so much better than the first, it worked well. I wish I'd had that type twice. We may need to play with compounds again as the sun comes up.'
Since then, stops have been on schedule for fuel, oil and tyres, leading to the present position of 20th position on 169 laps, a great recovery by the team and drivers and a chance to show that wholly renewable fuel such as bio-ethanol can run competitively inx the top levels of international motorsport.