Saturday 16th September 2017, 04:42
Following qualifying yesterday, car 24 started in P7 with car 25 having to start at the back of the grid after problems in qualifying for today’s 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas. Matt Rao started for car 24 and Roberto Gonzalez for car 25. After the first few laps car 24 was P7 and car 25 had worked its way through the GT cars to join the rest of the LMP2s in P9.
Two hours in, it was Ben in car 24 and Vitaly in car 25, unfortunately Vitaly suffered a puncture which lead to front suspension problems. When the car was in the garage the team discovered a further problem with the electronics which resulted in the retirement of car 25.
Prior to the halfway mark the team were instructed to repair a rear light on car 24, losing time to the cars around it and crucially putting car 24 on the wrong side of the leader when the safety car came out putting car 24 a lap down. As temperatures were rising and with an air temperature of 34 degrees, JEV and Ben were doing single stints alternating between each other recovering lots of time to the cars in front.
Unfortunately due to the time lost behind the safety car it wasn’t possible to climb higher than 6th before the end of the race.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“A frustrating weekend for us on both sides, we showed good pace all race but had separate issues on both cars and were very unlucky with the safety car which lead to car 24 losing time without this I am confident that we would have had another podium finish with car 24. The team did a very good job all weekend in difficult temperatures.”
Jean Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24
“Today didn’t go to plan, the car we had was pretty good but the change of the rear wing and a bit of bad luck with the safety car didn’t play in our favour and we lost around two minutes. From that point the race was pretty complicated. The team did a good job with the car as it was fast. We just need to learn from the mistakes today and come back stronger as a team in Fuji.”
Ben Hanley, Driver Car 24
“We had a difficult race, we had a problem with our rear light and had to change our rear end, when we did we had a problem with the fitting so took longer than it should. We then got stuck behind the safety car when the majority including the leader were behind us. The team did a great job and we could have been on the podium but we just had a bit of bad luck.”
Matt Rao, Driver Car 24
“Disappointed with the result, very unlucky today. I believe even with the slight issues we had on the car we could have been on the podium. Had the safety car gone our way and the rear end change been a bit smoother it could have been different but still shows that we had the pace.”