The collaboration between Veloqx Motorsport and Care Racing, using cars built and developed by Prodrive, paid off handsomely today as the two Ferrari 550 Maranellos being operated by the Veloqx Care Racing team finished 1st and 2nd in the GTS category and 5th and 6th overall in the 6 hour Le Mans 1000 Km event.
Jamie Davies, who drove car 88 with partner Darren Turner, completed a personal ‘double’ as he was also GTS victor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The second Maranello of Peter Kox and Tim Sugden finished just one lap behind, having experienced a minor set back early in the race which saw a gap widen between the two cars.
The 88 car (same number, but not the same chassis which won in June) had a trouble free run all afternoon, with a misting windscreen in the early stages being the only hindrance for the young, British duo.
The race began at noon in wet conditions, but the rain did not continue for long and the rapidly drying track opened up the lottery of tyre choice throughout the field. After a nose-to-tail chase with the Chrysler Viper, which saw the GTS lead change several times, Dutchman Peter Kox elected, with his highly experienced engineer, Eddie Hinckley, to put ‘slick’ tyres on. The choice was timely, and Kox then pushed hard to distance himself from the Viper. Unfortunately a spin on used tyres towards the end of a stint put car 80 in the gravel pit and considerable time was lost before it was retrieved and sent on its way back to the pits for fuel and new tyres. In the meantime, the sister Ferrari 550 of Davies and Turner took the GTS lead, a position it was not to relinquish until the chequered flag. Further time was lost for car 80 when the safety car came out and it went a lap down on car 88.
Tim Sugden, driving the Maranello for the first time here in France this week, did an excellent job for Veloqx Care Racing and performed consistently and reliably all afternoon, equally matching the pace of the other car.
Jamie Davies (GB), car 88:
“It’s fantastic. My second win at Le Mans this year and a perfect end to 2003. The Veloqx team prepared the car immaculately and Michelin did a superb job. A great result and a great feeling.”
Darren Turner (GB), car 88:
“My stints went really well and I’m really happy with the result. There was a possible incorrect tyre choice early on, perhaps we weren’t the only ones caught out by the changing conditions. The safety car definitely helped us. Overall, all the guys did a great job, bearing in mind the team only had two weeks to get to know these cars.”
Peter Kox (NL), car 80:
“I’m obviously happy for the team but disappointed with my own result. I made a mistake and it probably cost us the race.”
Tim Sugden ((GB)), car 80:
“I’m really pleased for the team. During the race I erred on the side of caution, not wanting to do anything silly in the treacherous conditions. It would have been easy to make mistakes but it’s great to get a podium.”