Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
BATTLE ENDS IN THE PITS FOR WALKER
James Walker’s Le Mans Series race at Imola today ended in retirement when the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 was struck with a gearbox problem in the latter stages of the race. In his first season of sportscar racing James is learning more with every race and he thoroughly enjoyed the lessons presented to him at Imola this weekend.
Rob Bell started the six-hour race, moving up into third place during his opening stint. Then it was James’ turn to take the wheel of the Dunlop-shod Ferrari. Prior to the race James had only had five laps in dry conditions at Imola and that was during this morning’s warm up session so he had to quickly get up to race pace.
“I was pleased with my pace considering how much running I’ve had at Imola,” said James. “The car felt very good and the changes we made really paid off.”
During Rob’s next stint he continued to set the pace until he had an ‘off’ at Rivazza, which cost him some time at the end of his run. He pitted to hand over to James for his next run and he soon got back into the rhythm of the race.
“I had a great battle with the Hankook Ferrari and managed to keep him behind me,” said James. “Going through Acque Minerali I went for fourth gear but just got neutrals so I ran wide across the tarmac. I got back on without any drama but from that point I only had fourth, fifth and sixth gear. When I pitted the guys managed to get the car back into neutral but when Rob rejoined and tried to come back down through the gears the problem was still there.”
“Overall I think we did a good job here to sort out all the issues we had before today,” explained James. “Rob did a great job as always and we again showed that the Dunlops match the race pace of the other tyre manufacturers. The thing I really learned here is that with the limited running you have to be able to jump in the car and just get on with the job. I enjoy being thrown in at the deep end though and I’m now looking forward to the Silverstone race. It’s a track that we all know well and I think we will be a very strong package there.”