Saturday 6th May 2017, 20:00
After yesterday’s qualifying, car 24 with Jean Eric Vergne driving started in P4 while car 25 with Roberto Gonzalez started at the back of the grid. Both cars made a good start and after the first lap car 24 was up to P3 while car 25 was working through the traffic. Jean-Eric had some very close battles, including heavy contact when he was hit by car 37, which resulted in severe tyre degradation and forced car 24 to pit early for a full service including driver change to Tor Graves. Shortly after, car 25 also pitted for full service including driver change to Vitaly Petrov.
Just under the three-hour mark, car 24 was battling with car 38 which resulted in a spin and a subsequent unscheduled pitstop for damage checks. Car 24 re-joined but had lost time and dropped to P9.
At the half way point both cars pitted for full service including driver changes, with Jonathan Hirschi in car 24 and Simon Trummer in car 25. Both drivers had very solid stints and when completed, returned to the garage with car 24 in P8 and car 25 in P6. With two hours remaining the final driver changes took place with Jean Eric in car 24 and Vitaly in car 25. The tyre degradation was very high by this point and the team had to settle for P7 and P8.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“Unfortunately, we had a tough race with both cars. It was disappointing to see so much unnecessary contact from other LMP2 drivers which further complicated our afternoon. That said, we need to focus on the things that we can control and we will analyse where we need to make improvements and work on this before the next race at Le Mans.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24
“It was a really tough race for both cars. Some positives to take is that the car has pace but definitely we still have some work to do especially for the race. I did everything I could after the first stint I returned P3 but after that it went pretty bad. We have a lot of work to do before Le Mans.”
Jonthan Hirschi, Driver Car 24
“I think we have improved a lot on lap time during the race weekend, we had a good qualifying but on the race pace we struggled. We are understanding the car for a quick lap but now we need to analyse our race pace.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25
“I think during the whole weekend we must be happy with what we did. We were improving the car and the pace was there but during the race we had huge right rear left tyre degradation so we couldn’t double stint these tyres. We need to analyse and work hard to improve this. I think everyone is struggling but we need to understand why we were a little worse off. The first stint we have good pace but as soon as we stop for fuel and go back out we have huge degradation again. We need to stay positive after Silverstone, we have made a big improvement with the car since Silverstone so we have to work the problems out for Le Mans.”
Simon Trummer, Driver Car 25
“I am disappointed with the race today, we had one less set of tyres to everyone else so I had to triple stint the tyres which was very tough. Overall a tough weekend but we have to analyse what happened and see where we can improve for the next race.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25
“It was a difficult race for us, obviously starting from last but I think by the first lap we were past most of the GTs. The only downside was one less set of new tyres, I think if we would have had these we could have finished better. The car ran well, my team mates drove very good. Let’s see what happens for the next race, we are going to prepare much better and hope we get the results we want at the next race.”