Circuit de la Sarthe
Greaves Motorsport takes fantastic victory in 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours
In one of the most dramatic and competitive races ever seen on the classic French circuit, Greaves Motorsport scored a emphatic victory on the LM P2 Class with their Zytek Z11SN – Nissan, driven by Karim Ojjeh, Olivier Lombard and Tom Kimber-Smith. The trio completed 326 laps to finish at the head of their class and also an amazing 8th overall in the final results.
The victory was achieved in the classic way, by keeping the car out of the pits and on track. The ingredients of this success were three very quick and safe drivers, the best team to support their performances and of course an ultra competitive Zytek Z11SN - Nissan package.
Tom Kimber-Smith started the race at 3.00 pm on Saturday but an early pit stop to changes tyres put the car out of sync with their competitors. However the fast and steady pace of all three drivers, from previous class winner Tom Kimber-Smith, team stalwart Karim Ojjeh, to Le Mans debutant and youngest French driver in the race, Olivier Lombard, allowed the car to steadily climb up the leader board. Olivier was particularly impressive during his night time stint, even more so when considering his lack of experience both of Le Mans and of racing in the dark.
The car only suffered only one mechanical problem - a small screw in the paddle shift assembly coming loose; that gave some intermittent problems with the gear changes. It was fixed with a new steering wheel and the car climbed the leader board through the night to take the lead at around 2.00am Sunday.
It would not be “Le Mans” without at least one drama and for the team that happened to Tom Kimber-Smith. After a routine pit stop early Sunday Morning he spun the car at the Dunlop Bridge while on cold slick tyres on a wet track. The team enjoyed an eight lap lead at that stage, so after Tom was able to get out of the gravel, the crew checked everything over in the pits and the Zytek Z11SN - Nissan was soon back on track and in the lead of the LM P2 class. When the Chequered Flag fell at 3.00pm the car was over six laps in front of its closest competitor.
The drivers did a fantastic job driving a fast, but disciplined race.
Team manager, Jacob Greaves reflected after the race on a famous victory.
“This was a victory built on team work. From the drivers, to the crew, our suppliers and partners such as Dunlop, Nissan and Zytek, everyone did their planned tasks to the maximum, there are hundreds of people involved in getting the job done, not forgetting the support from our new best friends, the Moulin Rouge girls”
Team Principal Tim Greaves gave his views.
"The drivers did a fantastic job driving a fast, but disciplined race. The reliability and speed of the car reflects the professionalism and hard work of the crew. Add in the contribution of legendary Race Team Director Paul Thomas and also the multi tasking Team Manager, my son - who even gave up his job of changing tyres - it was a good job, well done by all."
-source: greaves motorsport