Road Atlanta: Libra Racing Thursday report

Libra Racing Survives Night Practice Two minor mechanical problems for Libra Racing left their LMP2 prototype well off the pace during night practice at Road Atlanta, but all three of the team's drivers drove the mandatory 3 laps under darkness.

Libra Racing Survives Night Practice

Two minor mechanical problems for Libra Racing left their LMP2 prototype well off the pace during night practice at Road Atlanta, but all three of the team's drivers drove the mandatory 3 laps under darkness. Andrew Prendeville began the session, then handed off to Peter Dempsey. Harri Toivonen brought the car home to the paddock with 30 minutes remaining in the session.

Low oil pressure and a faulty alternator meant that the car was not maximizing its potential power. Libra Racing's mechanics will work through the night to resolve the issues. After an engine replacement that took all of last night and most of the morning, the team will work in shifts to complete these repairs.

"We've got an oil leak from the oil pump," explained Team Principle Ian Dawson. "It's limited us to only getting the drivers through the mandatory three flying laps. We've got an alternator issue that's quick to fix. It was not controlling the voltage to the engine so it put too much fuel in which restricted the lap times."

Dawson and his drivers remain positive that they will be up to speed come Friday.

"After having a chat with the drivers they all say the car still feels good. The good thing is we've done a lot of testing before and we're confident we can quickly get on the pace tomorrow. We've gotta fight through it again unfortunately. It is very important that we get on top of this, from everybody's point of view."

Harri Toivonen, the veteran racer and long-time partner to Dawson, shed light on what Dawson could have meant by "everybody." The car was so underpowered that it was very nearly a danger to the P1 cars of Audi and Peugeot, who are in a class of their own and pass "everyone, everywhere" according to Toivonen. "We didn't have all the power from the engine. Handling-wise the car is very good. But we made what we went to do; we managed to do three laps. We just need to get the power and get the times."

For first-time sportscar racer Dempsey, this session was his first time around a track at night. His times were right there with his teammates' and he shared his thoughts on his new experience:

"Even though we had a small issue with the car with it not pulling, and the lights not working, I had never really driven a car with the lights working before, so it didn't really affect me, to be fair. It was fine, all the corners were nicely lit up and the car felt good in the corners, which is great and we got a feel for it on slicks. Hopefully we'll get it sorted for tomorrow. It felt good. The important thing is I knew the track well so even though it was dark I still knew where the markers were, I still knew where the car needed to be positioned. It wasn't really a big issue for me. It was actually really really cool; probably one of the best experiences of my racing career. It was cool."

-source: libra racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Harri Toivonen , Peter Dempsey