After the early delays to the DBA-Judd's progress (new gearshift to box line and new water pump fitted), the blue p1 prototype had run extremely well through the night to make its way back up to 7th place in the overall classification. As dawn...
After the early delays to the DBA-Judd's progress (new gearshift to box line and new water pump fitted), the blue p1 prototype had run extremely well through the night to make its way back up to 7th place in the overall classification.
As dawn broke, the temperatures recorded by the car's telemetry system rose and a water leak was diagnosed. Andy Wallace, who was at the wheel at the time, could feel something on the rear tyres - water - and thought he had a puncture.
After a stop which cost the Creation team almost 20 minutes and nearly five laps, Nicolas Minassian did another triple stint during which time he drove superbly - recording the fastest lap of the race for the DBA-Judd and one which was four tenths quicker than Minassian's qualifying lap.
A recalcitrant starter motor caused further problems for the team as Jamie Campbell-Walter was unable to pull away from the pits after he replaced the Frenchman at the wheel. The team elected to change it and re-route some ducting to improve the air flow to the area.
Minassian could only stand by helpless and frustrated to see all the advantage he had re-gained slip away again. ""It's so frustrating! Every time we catch up, we have a problem and lose the time gained. We catch up again and it happens again!"
No sooner had the team repaired the car when bad luck struck again at 0930hrs. Jamie Campbell-Walter explained what happened: "The track was a lot dirtier than when I drove during the night and I think there was some oil at the first chicane, and certainly gravel all over the track. I locked up the front left tyre, went into the corner a few centimetres too late and went straight on into the tyre barriers. It's the first time I've made it to the morning at Le Mans and I didn't realise how much worse the track was at this time than during the night."
A new splitter, two new corners, a new brake disc, and one hour and ten minutes later, the DBA04S returned to the track in 20th position with sight of a top ten finish all but lost.
Determined to see the chequered flag at 4.00pm, Campbell-Walter, Minassian and Wallace - together with the whole Creation team - will fight through no matter what happens.
The next bulletin will be at after the race.