HEARTBREAK AFTER THE FIGHTBACK After a strong fight back from early mechanical setbacks, Creation Autosportif's 2006 Le Mans came to a premature end at midday today due to an engine related misfire. The exact cause is not yet known and will...
HEARTBREAK AFTER THE FIGHTBACK
After a strong fight back from early mechanical setbacks, Creation Autosportif's 2006 Le Mans came to a premature end at midday today due to an engine related misfire. The exact cause is not yet known and will be investigated fully once the car returns to its UK base near Oxford. The team stress that it can be attributed to any number of areas.
Team Principal Ian Bickerton was realistic about the disappointing outcome of the race. "We spent two hours chasing it [the misfire] and are struggling to cure it. As we've seen from the WR which went up in flames already today, I don't want to risk losing my racing car. We've had a pretty bad day and night anyway. The drivers have done a really good job pushing it along but we just can't cure it and Judd don't want to lose their engine either. We'll quit while we're ahead."
Jamie Campbell-Walter, who drove magnificently for over seven hours and who proved himself as one of the fastest drivers in the field, said, "From my point of view, if you consider that two weeks ago I didn't even know I was going to be here, I suppose you could say I should think myself lucky to have competed at Le Mans again. I've driven a really good car, with a good team and it's nice to have that opportunity, good to have another Le Mans on my CV. It's important for a driver. It's just a shame about the outcome. To do well, you have to have no problems and just go round and round, and we didn't. I don't think it's through lack of preparation or anything because I think that Creation is one of the top teams. It's a big downer for everyone, but we just have to go away and prepare for Nurburgring."
Felipe Ortiz: "It's very, very disappointing. Qualifying was good, Jamie did a very good job, and we had the right race tyres from Michelin to do that. His first two stints in the race were brilliant and we were quite unlucky that we suffered the minor problems at the beginning which put us down to 47th from 6th. From that point onwards it all went very well and Beppe was very good and consistent. We had a lot of small, little problems which kept us down the order but by midday we had moved back up to 16th but it could have been 4th! Then we had this bigger problem but that's racing. I think at the start our objective of a top five finish was very achievable and we'll have to see what happens next year."
Beppe Gabbiani: "Like always, the attention over the car was incredible. Jamie, me and Felipe all drove very well and this made the race easy. The car is very good but the little problems are a bit frustrating, no? For everyone, who has worked so hard. We had an overheating problem with the brakes from the beginning so we'll maybe have to work on that a bit. The car is so fast but we need a little bit more luck."
Michael Jankowski, Creation's founder: "Having finished the first race we did here last year, you try and move yourself up a notch. As it turned out, things happened which prevented that. Hopefully we'll be back and do better. It's very disappointing, especially the problems that occurred early on which didn't present themselves in any of the testing we did. It's terrible after 5 laps to move from p6 to p47. You then have to work your way back and at this track it's very difficult to do that. But, you know, we're fighters and we'll just keep fighting."