22nd overall for Graham Nash Motorsport at Le Mans Graham Nash Motorsport's No64 Saleen S7-R, driven by an all FIA GT line-up of Erdos, Newton and Chaves, suffered a double blow after running strongly for 5 minutes shy of 23 hours in the GTS...
22nd overall for Graham Nash Motorsport at Le Mans
Graham Nash Motorsport's No64 Saleen S7-R, driven by an all FIA GT line-up of Erdos, Newton and Chaves, suffered a double blow after running strongly for 5 minutes shy of 23 hours in the GTS class at this year's Le Mans 24 Hour race. With over 9 hours left to run Thomas Erdos fell ill at the end of the night and then a major crankshaft failure cut short the team's challenge, just over an hour from the finish.
Said Graham Nash, owner of GNM: "We were very excited to have Tommy onboard for the race, but as day broke on Sunday morning he became ill with a viral infection aggravated by the inevitable dehydration from which all drivers at Le Mans suffer, and was simply not able to drive again. It fell to Pedro and Mike to continue the charge from 6:30 am onwards. Both drivers pushed themselves hard for the remainder of the race? Pedro completed two double stints during a four hour period and then Mike did a double during daylight hours when the in-car temperatures were in the mid 40s,to let Pedro get some rest."
The car itself ran well throughout, posting less than an hour of unscheduled stops. Sadly when placed 19th place overall and 5th in class and just before the final driver change, the Saleen suffered a totally unexpected and terminal crankshaft failure, leaving the car stuck unceremoniously out on the circuit. With an agonising one hour and five minutes to run, the car stopped just after Virage Mulsanne.
The car was ultimately classified 22nd overall and 6th in the GTS class.
Comments Nash: "Everyone is disappointed and frustrated at not having crossed the finishing line, especially as we were looking to build on 2002's strong showing and we came so tantalisingly close this time around. On the plus side we are delighted with the efforts of the drivers and in fact the way the whole team came together when we were really up against it. All endurance races are very much a team effort from start to finish and Le Mans tests that aspect more than most. "
The British team is now gearing up its efforts for the next round of the FIA GT Championship at Donington Park on June 29th, and will be looking to bounce back from this weekend's disappointment by putting points on the board in front of its home fans.