Sunday 16th July 2017, 22:00
Sunday dawned wet and grey for today’s 6 hours of Nürburgring round of the 2017 WEC. The two CEFC Manor TRS Racing cars were lined up in P6 and P10 in the LM P2 class but with #24 facing the prospect of a seven minute stop and go penalty for a driver infringement during Free Practice. By the start the track was reasonably dry, but was declared wet even though all cars opted to start on slicks.
Both cars got away well, with Vitaly Petrov running as high as P4 in #25 and Roberto Merhi also gaining a couple of places with #24. The penalty incurred earlier in the weekend had to be served on #24 which took the car out of contention. At the first driver changes Simon Trummer took over #25 and Jonathan Hirschi was at the wheel of #24. Unfortunately, some debris thrown up from the track damaged an antenna on #25. The antenna is part of a mandatory system so it had to be replaced during a pit stop, losing a lot of time.
Just after the mid-point of the race Roberto Gonzales and Tor Graves took responsibility for #25 and #24 respectively, before handing back to Vitaly Petrov and Roberto Merhi for the final stints of the race.
At the chequered flag #25 was classified seventh, #24 ninth.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“It’s always good to have both cars finish, but overall I’m disappointed with the result. Both cars showed that they were capable of running at the same pace as the leaders at various stages throughout the race and yet we managed to lose a lot of time. We certainly had some bad luck but we will also have a deep analysis before Mexico of where the time disappeared. It’s highly frustrating to have a car and drivers capable of running at the front but not having the results to show for it.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25
“It was a difficult weekend. Again we have a problem with tyre degradation on the second stint – other teams seem to be able to maintain pace and we need to find something in setup to fix this. We have already had our first discussions around this and have plans of what we will do. After four races with no real results we are in a position where we must work twice as hard as the other teams in order to make progress.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25
“For me it was a difficult race, and I think that was mainly due to tyres. We used my quali tyres and I don’t know if that heat cycle caused problems with the balance but I was struggling the whole time. Obviously, we try to avoid mistakes but they do happen, I accidentally hit the limiter button when I made a large steering input to pass someone at turn one, and that certainly cost a few seconds. We also lost time in S3 on my last lap with low fuel so then we were just faced with fighting to get back positions. Thanks to the team for all the effort they put in and I hope the hard work translates to a quick car and a good result for my home race in Mexico City.”
Simon Trummer, Driver Car 25
“The start was good, with Vitaly getting us up to P4, and although we lost a couple of places from there it was good racing, and when I jumped in we were in a good place. I was able to reduce the gap to Vaxiviere in P5 and also keep the gap to the Rebellion behind. I was thinking we could be in for a good result but then we had a couple of issues, like the antenna had to be replaced and then we just dropped away. In the end we weren’t good enough and we will keep on working and look forward to Mexico.”
Jonthan Hirschi, Driver Car 24
“It was a good feeling to be back racing after Le Mans but with the penalty it was more like an extended test. We weren’t too far away from where we need to be but there are a few things we need to improve.”
Roberto Merhi, Driver Car 24
“I was happy to be back in the car and as the track time increased I felt that the times I was setting were good so I am pleased with my driving.”
Tor Graves, Driver Car 24
“I can see a few areas where we need to work on. I used my rear tyres to quickly and by the end of the first stint I was already struggling. I’m still not happy with the braking sensitivity either, so that is another area we should go through thoroughly.”