Silverstone speak From the super-fast Monza track, the LMES and Creation team move onto round three at Northamptonshire's 5.14km Silverstone circuit. The varied and challenging Grand Prix track offers a mix of fast and slow corners and...
From the super-fast Monza track, the LMES and Creation team move onto round three at Northamptonshire's 5.14km Silverstone circuit. The varied and challenging Grand Prix track offers a mix of fast and slow corners and both Jamie Campbell-Walter and Nicolas Minassian relish the opportunity to race their DBA03S-Judd at their 'home' event (Minassian's honorary 'home' due to living in Sussex, England).
The Frenchman is particularly looking forward to returning to the scene of many F3 and F3000 victories. "For me, Silverstone is one of the best circuits in the world and it has always been a good track for me. I really like the Copse, Becketts and Stowe corners which are very fast and technical. Last year we weren't so fast in qualifying, but in the race we had the pace to win. This year will be better for sure, as I think with the Michelin tyre we will be faster all round and, with the data from last year, we should have a very good set up for the race.
"The race going into the night is great. It makes you work a little more on the tyre compound choice, as it will be cooler in the evening, and it's always a good feeling to drive in the dark. The competition too will be good, but I feel we are one of the best out there so a victory is what I am looking for."
Team talk .
Team Owner, Michael Jankowski, faces the forthcoming Silverstone event with the same degree of trepidation that he talked of at the start of the LMES season in April.
Echoing his comments then, he said, "We expect to do well, and we'll be disappointed if we don't. After two very disappointing races at Spa and Monza, where we were so near to a great finish only to have it snatched away from us, our expectations are higher than ever. We know we have a fast car and fast drivers; we know we have a team capable of bringing home a victory; we know we have put together the right technical package to allow that to happen. We just need that last vital ingredient - a bit of good, old-fashioned luck!
"There's a great entry list for this race, but we've proved in all our races so far, including Le Mans, that we have one of the fastest cars out there. If we are there at the finish, we'll be in a position to win - I'm absolutely confident of that."
The highs and lows of Spa.
For many, it was hard to believe that Nicolas Minassian had never competed at the 24 hour event held at the historic and picturesque Spa-Franchorchamps circuit. This was one of the reasons - apart from the opportunity of keeping race sharp in an otherwise 5-week break between LMES rounds - that he and Jamie Campbell-Walter were given leave by Creation to compete in a Ferrari 550 Maranello at the recent endurance classic.
It was also Nic's first ever drive in a GT car but, needless to say, the speedy and likeable Frenchman soon found his feet in the confines of a closed cockpit. "It was great, especially doing it with Jamie. With four of us in the driver line up I didn't get many laps in practice, so it was fantastic to be able to do stint after stint in the race. I felt very good in the car and could push a bit and knew what I was doing. I had every weather condition - from damp to wet, drying, nearly wet, so I think I got quite good in all of those and knew how the car would react.
"It was really tough with the heat in the car though, I have to say. I'm not used to that, and I think I did a little bit more than two stints, and I'd had enough in the car by then. It was a fantastic experience but I'll be glad to get back to our car at Silverstone!"
Despite being amongst the leading pack for the first quarter of the race, unfortunately it didn't end well for the Creation duo as the car had to be retired due to accident damage after a tangle with a slower Porsche.
Pit patter .
The patter of tiny feet has recently been consuming the attention of Jamie. His wife, Amelia, gave birth to their second child on the 5th August - having patiently waited for Jamie to compete at and return from the 24 Hours of Spa. Daughter Lucie Rose, who the team fervently hopes looks like her mother and not her father, is a much welcomed sister to Harry!
Team talks could become interesting as Nic's wife Jayne is expecting their first child in October, and he will no doubt have a question or two for his driving partner.