TEAM BRUICHLADDICH RADICAL HEADS TO LE MANS 24 HOUR ENDURANCE RACE Team Bruichladdich Radical is in France for the legendary Le Mans 24 hour race to be held next weekend. The race starts on Saturday 16th June and is the 75th in history where...
TEAM BRUICHLADDICH RADICAL HEADS TO LE MANS 24 HOUR ENDURANCE RACE
Team Bruichladdich Radical is in France for the legendary Le Mans 24 hour race to be held next weekend. The race starts on Saturday 16th June and is the 75th in history where cars drive for 24 hours on the 8.47 mile circuit which is mainly closed public roads. Tim Greaves, Stuart Moseley and Robin Liddell will be reaching around 190 mph on the fastest part of the circuit in the LMP2 class car powered by the AER two-litre turbo charged engine and shod with Dunlop tyres. It is estimated that they will travel over 3000 miles at an average speed of around 130 mph -- that's the equivalent of travelling from London to Moscow and back.
It is Tim's first time at Le Mans but both Stuart and Robin have raced the French circuit before. The team has been spurred on by its first podium finish at Valencia last month and is looking forward to the challenge of the 24 hours. The key as ever is to keep the car out of the garage and so the team has spent the last month working on refining all routine pit stop tasks as well as the less bigger challenges that they may be faced with in the bid to cross the line on 3pm local time on Sunday.
The test day held last Sunday went reasonably well. Tim got to grips with the circuit and got in his qualifying laps that he needed as a rookie. The day was spent working on the race set-up rather than all out times. A slight misfire hampered efforts slightly but the offending wiring has been replaced and all is looking good for the race.
The week starts with scrutineering and autograph signing in a beautiful square in Le Mans city centre which for Team Bruichladdich Radical will be on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday see qualifying sessions for the race and the compulsory completion of laps in the dark for all three drivers.
Friday is a track free day but the drivers return to Le Mans city centre for the drivers parade in the evening -- an amazing event where all 165 drivers are driven round a crowd- packed route on vintage cars. The race starts on Saturday at 3pm local time -- 2pm in the UK.
Tim Greaves, team owner and driver
"I've had my first experience of the track at the test and I've got comfortable with it but I'm looking forward to attacking it a little more this week. I was driving comfortably at 3 minutes 52 seconds but realistically need to drive comfortably in the 40s. As far as what we're out to achieve we're out to win -- there's no reason why we can't. Keeping out of the garage is going to be the main thing.
"From the times on the test day it looks as though Barazi Epsilon is the new LMP2 benchmark. Hopefully LMP2 will give us a good few battles although I hope the Courages are fit after their testing crash and it's almost a crime that the Rollcentre Radical was withdrawn .It ran so well last year and could have been a strong contender."
Stuart Moseley, driver
"My first memory of Le Mans was sitting in the front of my Dad's car as we drove down the Mulsanne straight when I was seven. The first time I got to drive it was in the Classic 24 Hours in an Aston Martin DB4 Zagarto in 2002. I was 'blessed' with the night stint which given the vintage nature of the car and its headlights was a bit like driving by candlelight.
"My next race was last year in the Rollcentre SR9. It was my first time in the car so it was good to have had that bit of track time in the Aston Martin so I wasn;t learning everything at the same time. Then I was driving with two people who had raced there in prototypes before and it was good preparation -- this year it's the other way round and it will be Robin and I helping Tim get to grips with it.
"To experience Le Mans as a driver is fantastic and to finish Le Mans at my first attempt was very pleasing. To improve on that it going to be difficult but you don't get to do Le Mans too many times in your career and there's nothing more satisfying than succeeding there. If we could get on the podium it would be a fantastic result but this is Le Mans with so many variables and the main thing is to still be running come Sunday morning."
Robin Liddell, driver
"The annual Le Mans race is the sportscar race of the year. It has a tremendous heritage. It has a special blend of atmosphere and history which is what makes it so appealing to almost all professional drivers. I've been aware of the significance of the race from an early age. I raced a Porsche 911 GT2 at Le Mans in 2002 & '03, scoring a sixth in class in the second year, then a Panoz most recently in 2005. In addition to my Le Mans appearances, I've contested the Daytona 24 Hours on four occasions in Florida and the Nurburgring 24 Hours twice."
"I am very excited about the prospect of driving a prototype sportscar at Le Mans -- I don't even care if it rains and I get wet!
"I've only raced the Radical on one previous occasion this season but the car's performance was such that I'm very optimistic of a good showing at Le Mans. We definitely start the race with a good chance of winning the LMP2 class but as always there are so many unknowns. After our strong performance at Valencia in a 1,000km race, we're confident we can have a good finish."