Winning the championship at Silverstone is still possible despite a retirement due to a gearbox failure at Nurburgring For Pescarolo Sport, the series of good results scored in the 2009 LMS Championship ended dramatically with a retirement...
Winning the championship at Silverstone is still possible despite a retirement due to a gearbox failure at Nurburgring
For Pescarolo Sport, the series of good results scored in the 2009 LMS Championship ended dramatically with a retirement at Nurburgring (following the two second positions in Barcelona and Spa and the victory in Portimao).
Such a retirement did not have happened since a long time and unfortunately it did happen at the worst time of all, while we were defending our first position in the championship against Aston Martin.
Yet, everything was running fine since the beginning of the week-end. Rapidly, we had been reassured on the capacities of Christophe Tinseau : despite a broken rib in Portugal, he set the fastest laptime of the second free practice session without suffering from his fracture. Emmanuel Collard who came and gave a hand was rapidly in the pace and Jean-Christophe Boullion was indeed as always "ready for the battle"!
As they often do, the Astons Martin used their 'specific engine set-up' for the qualifying session in order to ensure the front row of the grid but we had noticed all along the free practice sessions that the cars competing for victory were all very close in performance. When the race was started, Jean-Christophe was not overtaken by the Audis behinh him and was in a position to follow the pace set by the two leading Astons and the Ginetta driven by Watts. Unfortunately, after three laps, the Pescarolo-Judd was relegated to 10th position after it went off the track in the sand. It had to be done all over again: without becoming discouraged, Boullion started overtaking all those who had tpassed him, fighting hard in some cases, particularly against the Audis and their powerful diesel engines. Thanks to a clear track, Mucke managed to build a 20 second gap which was kept until the first pitstop. As the teams decided not to change tyres, everything was stll possible. Only the three Astons were in front of Jean-Christophe with still almost five hours to go and 20 seconds only to catch up. Sadly, before the driver could even notice it, the telemetry indicated an abnormal increase in the gearbox oil temperature as well as a drop of pressure : the diagnosis was obvious, the car had to be called back in the pits.
One retirement in a 5 race championship is very diffcult to overcome. We now rank second in the Teams and Drivers classifications. At Silverstone, in order to recover the final lead in the championship, we will need to score 7 points more than the Aston Martin 007 : it will be a hard job but as we experienced it yesterday, everything is possible in Endurance racing, even the most unpredictable may happen. At Silverstone once more, Pescarolo Sport will demonstrate its legendary fighting spirit.