GC ENTRANTS EXPERIENCE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LE MANS 24 HOUR Armor All Gold Coast 600 international entrants Sebastien Bourdais, David Brabham, Andy Priaulx and Gianni Morbidelli have all been busy over the weekend. Bourdais, Brabham and Priaulx,...
GC ENTRANTS EXPERIENCE HIGHS AND LOWS OF LE MANS 24 HOUR
Armor All Gold Coast 600 international entrants Sebastien Bourdais, David Brabham, Andy Priaulx and Gianni Morbidelli have all been busy over the weekend.
Bourdais, Brabham and Priaulx, who will compete with Dick Johnson Racing, IRWIN Racing and TeamVodafone on the Gold Coast in October respectively, were all part of the Le Mans 24 hours while Morbidelli (who will join with Triple F Racing) was in action in the Superstars Series, competing at the Hockenheim Ring.
For Morbidelli it was a strong weekend, with the Italian racer qualifying third fastest before going on to claim fourth and fifth in the two races for the weekend. The former Formula One racer is currently fourth in the Superstars Series championship standings.
Unfortunately for the 24 hour racers, all three of their cars suffered varying kinds of mechanical failure, with Bourdais and Brabham's entries in particular strong in the early stages before being thwarted by car failure.
The entry of Bourdais (teamed with Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud) was classified as a non-finisher inside the three hour mark with suspension failure and before Bourdais could take the wheel, while the BMW of Priaulx (teamed with Dirk Muller and Dirk Werner) encountered multiple mechanical issues including suspension issues, with those issues resulting in a later accident, with the team eventually withdrawing after multiple attempts to fix the problems.
David Brabham and team-mates Marco Werner and Marino Franchitti were able to finish, stoically holding on through late cooling issues which undermined their early pace which saw them solidly second in the LMP2 class.
"Obviously everyone is disappointed in the end result but we can't put our heads down too much because this is the first time the team has been to Le Mans," said Brabham.
"It is a very tough event but the team showed how serious Highcroft Racing is. We ran in the top two throughout the entire race and it was a very good effort overall.
"Unfortunately, we had a problem towards the end but the team has learned a hell of a lot.
"The positive aspect from everything is the team will look at the overall experience- preparing for the race, getting here and what happened during the race. The good thing about Highcroft Racing is they are not frightened to look at how they can improve.
"You can't gain experience at Le Mans without coming here, so I think the team will learn a lot from this week.
"The entire team and my teammates did an exceptional job. Marino and Marco were outstanding through the night and we were getting set to really start putting the pressure on before the problem struck."
All of the international drivers for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 are set to arrive on the Gold Coast on the Sunday before the event and will be involved in a week of activity, including a full-day test at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday, October 20.
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will include two 300km races on Saturday and Sunday of the event, with the international drivers required to complete a minimum of 30% of each of the races.
-source: gold coast 600