HEARTBREAK FOR RUSSIAN AGE RACING AT SPA 24-HOURS The Russian Age Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello was forced to retire from the Spa 24-hour race after an accident in the fifth hour. Thanks to strong drives from Alexey Vasiliev in the wet at the ...
HEARTBREAK FOR RUSSIAN AGE RACING AT SPA 24-HOURS
The Russian Age Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello was forced to retire from the Spa 24-hour race after an accident in the fifth hour. Thanks to strong drives from Alexey Vasiliev in the wet at the start, and guest drivers Nicolas Minassian and Jamie Campbell-Walter, the car was up to seventh place overall at the time of the accident.
"I followed a Porsche through the Blanchiment corner and as he stayed wide on the right at the exit, I went left and accelerated to go past him," said Campbell-Walter who returned to the pits despite extensive damage which could not be repaired at the circuit. "He swerved left and jumped on the brakes, and I ran into the back of him. I had followed him through the corner to be safe but in hindsight I should have just been more aggressive and tried to pass him on the entry to the corner."
Vasiliev had started the race, and coped well in the damp conditions. "I was looking after the car," said the Russian, who became embroiled in a battle with 2003 race winner Marc Lieb. "I was faster in a straight line than the Porsche, of course, but he was faster in the corners in the wet and I did not want to riskanything at such an early stage. When I brought the car in we were in a very good position." Vasiliev's countryman, Nikolay Fomenko, had not yet driven when it retired.
Minassian drove for more than two hours, and was exhausted when he climbed out, having inadvertently left the air vents to the cockpit closed. "The final 12 laps I really struggled," said the Frenchman. "When I had some cars to pass I was OK, I really didn't notice the heat, but when I was running on my own it was different. I only had drinks for the first stint, and nothing beyond that, but it was really good fun!"
Minassian handed the car to Campbell-Walter, who was competitive on his Ferrari debut in the championship. "The Michelin tyres were so good we would have been able to double stint them easily," said Campbell-Walter. "We were in good shape."
The next round of the championship is in Oschersleben, Germany, on August 28.