MID RACE REPORT -- ACTION AND DRAMA ALL THE WAY It has been a high-drama, action-packed first half of the 1000 mile Petit Le Mans event, featuring no less than six full course caution periods. Risi Competizione's battles started early in...
MID RACE REPORT -- ACTION AND DRAMA ALL THE WAY
It has been a high-drama, action-packed first half of the 1000 mile Petit Le Mans event, featuring no less than six full course caution periods.
Risi Competizione's battles started early in the day. While Johnny Mowlem was behind the wheel in the morning warm up, he was desperately unfortunate to spin off on some oil laid down by the #26 Andretti Green Acura which had a broken oil union. Mowlem pirouetted down the pit straight, fighting the car very hard to try and avoid hitting the wall, but made heavy contact just before Turn 1. The damage to the front and right front quarter of the car was substantial but the Risi team did a superb job to repair it as new in just a little over two hours, and the #62 car was able to take its pole-sitting place on the grid. Mowlem unfortunately did not fare so well. After dislocating his wrist, he will not drive in the event today.
GT2 Championship leaders, Jaime Melo and Mika Salo, made a confident start to the race, and were holding a steady lead ahead of their nearest rivals, the Flying Lizard Porsches, until just after four hours into the race.
Salo, who was behind the wheel at the time, was called into the pits by the officials to rectify a non-functioning rear brake light. The intermittent problem took some time to be fully resolved, taking three stops and a loss of eight laps to the class leaders -- a bitter blow to Melo and Salo's victory aspirations.
Both the Brazilian and the Finn had spins, the latter due to contact with a prototype, but the no. 62 Ferrari 430 fortunately did not suffer any damage.
Krohn Racing drivers Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn have also had their share of drama here today. The US-based Swede had contact with a Porsche early in the event, for which a penalty was subsequently awarded to his competitor. Tracy Krohn was also been the victim of contact and a cut tire in his first stint, and several off-track excursions. Darren Turner, the third driver in the #61 Ferrari, completed just under two hours behind the wheel without any issues.
There remains at least four hours of racing ahead and it's never over till it's over. The fightback starts here.