Rick Pearson and Tracsport Motorsport Take Third In Class In Round Two Of The Le Mans Endurance Series Le Mans Endurance Series newcomers Rick Pearson and Tracsport Motorsport made a storming start to their LMES campaign at the Nurburgring ...
Rick Pearson and Tracsport Motorsport Take Third In Class In Round Two Of The Le Mans Endurance Series
Le Mans Endurance Series newcomers Rick Pearson and Tracsport Motorsport made a storming start to their LMES campaign at the Nurburgring on Sunday, claiming third place in the LMP2 class despite tricky conditions at the German circuit.
Qualifying: 8th in class, 27th on grid
Friday's first qualifying session was fraught with problems due to heavy rain showers which dowsed the track after just two laps of dry running for Pearson's team-mate, John Ingram Jnr.
Although session two started much the same way with an engine hesitation problem and a rain shower, third Tracsport driver John Gaw rose to the challenge recording a solid qualifying lap right at the end of the session, putting the Tracsport Lola B2K eighth in class and 27th on the grid.
Race: 3rd in class, 27th overall
Former Formula Three, Caterham and Clio driver, John Ingram Jnr was first in the car for Saturday's race. He took the rolling start in style, staying out of trouble and on the circuit when many were flying off. After a faultless one-hour run, he handed over to Carlube-supported John Gaw just as the first of many rain showers dampened the circuit.
The second hour of the 1000km race was punctuated by a collision between Tracsport's Gaw and a lead Audi. Despite damage to the floor, a lost dive plane and a harmless spin, the ex-Caterham ace continued to set competitive lap times.
Man Financial-backed driver Rick Pearson was next into the car, taking over from Gaw exactly two hours in to the race. With several LMP2 cars losing ground, Pearson had the Tracsport Lola running third in class when an earlier engine hesitation problem reappeared. A minor collision with a Ferrari then damaged the rear wing, effecting the car's handling for the remainder of Pearson's one-hour stint.
The Maidstone-based driver handed over to DMIPI-backed Ingram Jnr at the half-way mark, giving the Tracsport mechanics an opportunity to change the damaged rear wing.
Despite losing five laps in the pits and dropping back to sixth in class, a problem with the leading Courage runner and consistent driving by Ingram Jnr, Gaw and Pearson meant the number 27 Lola was fourth in class when Pearson crossed the line after six hours and 139 laps.
With the lead WR excluded from the results as a result of an airbox infringement, the Pearson/Ingram Jnr/Gaw Tracsport Lola B2K was promoted to third in class after post-race scrutineering.
Rick Pearson said: "We came to finish and to ensure we were seen as a professional team worthy of a place at this pinnacle of motorsport. We achieved that and the podium finish was a fantastic bonus.
"Team manager Dudley Wood and crew chief John Willis have achieved miracles on our tiny budget and really all we had to do as drivers was keep it on the black bit!"
Jubilant team owner, John Ingram Snr summed the weekend up perfectly, commenting: "This was simply the best day of my life."
Next race: 13-15 August: Silverstone (GB)