A cruel disappointment for Pegasus Racing Pegasus Racing overcame all the obstacles in its path to be at the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The fledgling team from Strasbourg and its new car handled their Sarthe debut with all the expertise of a...
A cruel disappointment for Pegasus Racing
Pegasus Racing overcame all the obstacles in its path to be at the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The fledgling team from Strasbourg and its new car handled their Sarthe debut with all the expertise of a well-honed top-level endurance squad. But a misunderstanding on the track led to the French car's retirement in a race in which the favourites also had their fair share of misfortune!
In qualifying, Julien Schell, Frederic Da Rocha and David Zollinger did a thorough job sorting out the Norma M200 P, and set the tenth-quickest time in the LM P2 category and the twenty-eighth on the 55-car grid line-up. On Saturday morning, the team fine-tuned the car's setup on a damp track without taking any unnecessary risks.
Schell took the first stint in the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours - which is always an awesome moment for a driver. He immediately showed that without pushing too hard, the car was well capable of holding its own with some of the more established names in the category. He did a double stint and by the end of the first hour he was in eighth place in LM P2, and twenty-fourth overall with a best lap in 3m 55.149s. Da Rocha took over and set off for another double stint.
Unfortunately, the fate of the no. 38 Norma-Judd was sealed in the fourth hour in the Kart Esses. Da Rocha found himself on the gearbox of the Spyker GT2 that had gone off a few kilometres further back. He overtook it in the Porsche curve when suddenly one of the works Audis burst on the scene. As the three cars came into one of the trickiest parts of the circuit at different speeds, the Spyker hit the Norma and punted it into the wall on the outside of the corner. Although the blue car stopped, Da Rocha managed to get it going again and limped back to his pit. Immediately, the mechanics began to dismantle the right-hand rear suspension and the transmission. But the worry was the gearbox. And the team's fears were founded. Even though the casing was undamaged the team had to try and find a damaged part without which the car could not restart. They spoke to the Xtrac guys, but it was all to no avail and that was the end of Pegasus Racing's 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Initially, the little team was deeply disappointed but this did not last and they looked at the positive aspects. They had showed the seriousness of their technical approach as well as the fact that they deserved their invitation - and that they were also the first team to start with a prototype that prefigures the 2011 regulations. Their partners like IC Engineering, which put its famous E tricks - 2-wheel electric machines powered by a rechargeable system through a solar panel - at the squad's disposal, said that Pegasus Racing was ahead of schedule. The E tricks were parked in front of the hospitality unit so the team staff was able to move around the circuit and Le Mans itself without adding any CO2 emissions. The team also showed its generosity by supporting the "Mecenat Chirurgie Cardiaque".