Hankook Ferrari op podium Le Mans en Risi team heeft pech
De 24 urrs race van Le Mans kende een onverwachte winnaar èn een onverwachte verliezer. Of erger nog: verliezers, want voor het eerst sinds ze met de Ferrari F430 GT reden, viel het Risi Competizione team niet in de prijzen. Gedurende de race moest men lijdzaam toezien hoe de drie Ferrari's uitvielen, wat een zeldzaamheid is, want het team heeft al zes GT2 endurance races op haar naam staan en nu in 2010 kampen ze met pech.
Alhoewel Risi Competizione pech had met de Ferrari's, was er toch nog een Ferrari F430 GT die het podium haalde, namelijk de Hankook Farnbacher #89, bestuurd door Simonsen, Farnbacher en Keen, die tweede werd, achter de Porsche 911 GT3 RSR van Lieb, Lietz en Henzler.
De AF Corse Ferrari, bestuurd door Fisichella, Alesi en Vilander, finishte vierde:
A Ferrari F430 GT, maybe the least expected one, made it to the podium in the LMGT2 category in the Le Mans 24 Hours late yesterday afternoon. The Hankook Farnbacher #89, crewed by Simonsen, Farnbacher and Keen, finished second in the French endurance race behind the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Lieb, Lietz and Henzler. The cars from Maranello did not have much luck in this edition of the famous race. First, the two Risi Competizione cars dropped out, then the AF Corse one, driven by Fisichella, Alesi and Vilander went off the track, requiring a long pit stop which meant any chance of fighting for the win had gone.
There was to be no repeat of the fairy tale finish experienced by Risi Competizione at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the last two years, as both cars were retired from the race by the sixteenth hour. It also brought to an end the wonderful run of six GT2 endurance victories enjoyed by the Houston-based privateer team since June 2008. Problems with the gearbox meant that the #82 which, having started from the back of the grid and staged a great climb up the order until it was duelling for the lead with the two Corvettes, had to retire. "It was a very unusual problem which happened to the Risi Competizione team and for Ferrari," said Pierre Kaffer. "They have such great gearboxes normally and it was a shame we got such an unlucky problem. We need to analyse everything to find out what the problem was. It's a pity after such a great race with Corvette."
That left the experinced team with just one car, but when the #83 Krohn Racing Risi F430 GT entered the pits at 0613 hrs in the morning with smoke coming from the rear, there were glum faces all round as the engine problem proved to be terminal. It is the first time since the team has been racing the F430 GT that neither car has made it to the checkered flag at the French classic. With the #82 car already parked up in the pits due to gear selection issues (officially retired at 0100 hrs), all the Risi team's hopes had been being pinned on the familiar green and blue liveried Ferrari which has achieved two GT2 podium finishes in the last four years. Nic Jonsson was at the wheel when the engine failed and he explained what happened: "I was coming into the second chicane on the Mulsanne and the engine stumbled; it felt like there was fuel starvation. Then there was a big puff of smoke in the back and the crank case pressure dropped. There wasn't any warning or temperature change or anything." Since overcoming a persistent understeer problem early in the race, the #83 was making steady progress and all three drivers had driven without any issues during the night and early morning. It was a hugely disappointing end to the team's troubled weekend.
The only AF Corse run F430 GT to make the race start was lying second in the morning, shortly after dawn when, because of a brake problem, it went off the track at 280 km/h. Giancarlo Fisichella, Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver was at the wheel at the time. “It looked like being really bad, but luckily, there is an escape road at that point and I was able to limit the damage. Unfortunately, we had to spend a long time in the garage to repair the car and after that we could not make up the time lost. All the same, fourth place is a very good result. I am happy to have had this unique experience: it was a tiring race, without any sleep, but it was unforgettable. I want to thank the team for all their efforts and my team-mates in this adventure, Toni and Jean who were really fantastic."
Alle nieuws die niet in de andere categorieén passen (bv eenmalige races).
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