QUAIFE'S PACE GOES UNREWARDED IN ALGARVE 1000KMS Phil Quaife's hopes of a strong finish in round 3 of the Le Mans Series, the Algarve 1000kms, were dashed by an unscheduled pit stop early on in the race due to a puncture. Despite trouble-free...
QUAIFE'S PACE GOES UNREWARDED IN ALGARVE 1000KMS
Phil Quaife's hopes of a strong finish in round 3 of the Le Mans Series, the Algarve 1000kms, were dashed by an unscheduled pit stop early on in the race due to a puncture.
Despite trouble-free practice and qualifying sessions, the puncture struck just 21 laps into the six-hour race, which Quaife had started in the No.90 car.
With incredibly high temperatures also contributing to tyre wear, the issue forced the British team to take a cautious approach to strategy, pitting the cars early in each stint to avoid any more problems. Unfortunately that meant Quaife and co-drivers Pierre Kaffer and Pierre Ehret weren't able to make the progress that the pace of the car deserved, ultimately finishing 11th in the highly-competitive GT2 category.
Earlier, Quaife was disappointed to see his first qualifying session of the year spoiled when he got caught in traffic during his two fastest runs, but was still confident that the team had delivered a good race set-up for the day/night event.
After making a clean start, Phil fought with reigning double Porsche Supercup champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Spyker), former double LMS champion Rob Bell (Aston Martin) and Asian Le Mans Series champion Allan Simonsen (Ferrari) in the opening stages as he began to climb the field.
Unfortunately, his stint was ended early by the puncture. He was back in the car after Kaffer's and Ehret's runs and just as night time fell. Again, he produced a strong performance, even though the earlier troubles had dropped the trio off the pace.
Phil Quaife: "What's frustrating is we had the speed in the car to do much better this weekend. Once the race settled down after the start my pace was similar to that of the top six, but unfortunately we'd already lost ground fighting with the other cars around us.
"Even then we could still have had a solid top-six finish, while the other car was on for a podium, before the tyre problems hit. It's a real shame for us and the team."
Quaife will return to action next month as the Le Mans Series heads east to Budapest for the Hungaroring 1000kms.