Freeparking.com Racing Forced Out Of Barcelona 24 Hours Freeparking.com Racing were prematurely forced out of the Barcelona 24 Hour race on Saturday after being hit by an overtaken Seat. The Freeparking.com trio of Paul Lomax, Jim Edwards Jnr...
Freeparking.com Racing Forced Out Of Barcelona 24 Hours
Freeparking.com Racing were prematurely forced out of the Barcelona 24 Hour race on Saturday after being hit by an overtaken Seat. The Freeparking.com trio of Paul Lomax, Jim Edwards Jnr and Phil Bennett had started the sixty-six car race ninth but were up as high as fifth after just half an hour.
The Freeparking.com / Abztrakt Galerias Clio 2.0 RS was running comfortably with the race leaders in the second hour of the race when Freeparking.com driver Phil Bennett overtook a Seat on the super-quick back straight. The driver then attempted to move back online, colliding with the Freeparking.com Clio and sending it spinning towards the gravel trap.
When the car returned to the garage around fifteen minutes later, the RC-Competicion mechanics reported that the chassis had been twisted in the accident. The number 25 car officially retired at 14.00.
Paul Lomax: 2:07.084 (15th overall)
Phil Bennett: 2:03.303 (6th overall)
Jim Edwards Jnr: 2:03.293 (9th overall)
Qualifying for the seventh running of the Formula Q 24 Hours of Barcelona -- Fermi Velez Trophy was held amid blazing sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya. The timed sessions were split in to four, thirty-minute stints, with one driver per team running in each session.
Former UK Clio Cup entrant, Paul Lomax was the first Freeparking.com driver to post a timed lap. At the end of his thirty-minute qualifying window, his best time of 2:07.084 placed him fifteenth overall.
Le Mans Endurance Series ace Phil Bennett was next out in the RC Competicion-prepared Freeparking.com Clio. Despite never having raced a Clio competitively before, Bennett was the early session pace setter. After six laps, his best time of 2:03.303 was classified sixth quickest.
UK Clio Cup hot shot, Jim Edwards Jnr was last to set a time for the Freeparking.com Racing team. With his wealth of Clio experience he was immediately up to speed with a hot lap of 2:03.293. The quickest of the Freeparking.com Racing trio, Edwards Jnr was ninth overall.
The 2:04.656 aggregate time posted by the Abztrakt Galerias / Freeparking.com- supported Clio gave the British team a fantastic ninth place on the sixty-six car grid.
Retired after 2 hours
Hour 1: Paul Lomax takes the rolling start for the Freeparking.com Racing team under blazing sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya. From ninth on the grid, he drops to twelfth on the opening tour but is back up to tenth by the time the field passes under the Repsol starting line for the second time.
Soon after, Lomax is running in a comfortable fifth position - four up on the starting place of ninth.
Hour 2: Freeparking.com Racing driver Phil Bennett is turned in on by a Seat he had recently passed. The Freeparking.com / Abztrakt Galerias Clio RS is sent spinning into the barriers on a quick part of the circuit.
The car is recovered to the garage fifteen minutes later. The mechanics report that the chassis is bent and the car will be forced to retire from the race.
The no. 25 Freeparking.com / Abztrakt Galerias Clio RS officially retires from the seventh running of the Formula Q 24 Hours of Barcelona -- Fermi Velez Trophy at 14.00.
Paul Lomax: "We are all extremely disappointed with the way that the race ended for us. We were running very well and were comfortably lapping within the top ten. After such a strong performance in qualifying and in the first two hours of the race, we were confident of a good result and were racing for the outright win.
When we got the car back to the garage, it became clear that the chassis had been bent, giving us no choice but to retire. It's a very frustrating end to what was a very promising weekend for us.
My thanks go to RC Competicion, Autotec and Mark Fish for preparing a great car, Phil Bennett and Jim Edwards Jnr and Freeparking.com and Abztrakt Galerias for their support. "
Phil Bennett: "I'm very disappointed. The car was running really well in the race and we were right up there with the leaders when the accident occurred. I'd passed the Seat on the straight and then the driver attempted to move back on to the racing line, sending me in to the gravel trap.
Apart from the premature end to our race, I've enjoyed racing a Clio this weekend. The Circuit de Catalunya is a great facility and the 24 Hour event is well organised. The RC Competicion team, Autotec and Mark Fish prepared a fantastic car for us. Hopefully we can come back next year and show everyone what the Freeparking.com Racing team is capable of."
Jim Edwards Jnr: "I'm extremely disappointed with the way things have turned out this weekend. The car was performing brilliantly in practise and we had a good qualifying session so it's disappointing that I didn't get a chance to drive in the race.
I really enjoyed the night practice on Friday and was looking forward to the race itself as it would have been my first outing in an endurance event. I'm sure we would have been fighting for the race win."