Nielsen Racing took a well-deserved podium finish in the opening race of the 2019 Road to Le Mans, the supporting event for the flagship 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to a strong performance from Tony Wells and Colin Noble.
The regular European Le Mans and Road to Le Mans pairing drove a faultless race to take the final podium step in a competitive field of over 50 LMP3 and GT3 cars on the famous French Circuit, in the first of two races that will take place this weekend.
‘Bronze’ driver Wells took the start and after initially dropping back at the start, kept the car well in contention in the opening stint to hand over to Noble at the mid-point during a long safety car period; that saw the entire field pit together for the mandatory driver change.
Slick pit work from the Nielsen crew saw Noble emerge in ninth place and soon head off on a charge through the field to fourth place, which soon turned into third as the Lanan Racing car served a drive-through penalty.
Behind the leading Nielsen car, a great drive from James Littlejohn in the opening stint had seen the #18 Ligier initially the strongest Nielsen runner, having moved up from a ninth place start to run in a strong third position at the pitstop, eventually coming home in P18 in the hands of novice Nobuya Yamanaka. A creditable result given the lack of experience for the Japanese Gentleman driver at the circuit, and in this level of competition.
22nd for the Nielsen run GrainMarket Racing entry of Mark Crader and Alex Mortimer and 27th for the Bonamy Grimes and Ivor Dunbar car ensured all Nielsen entries finished in the top half of the field.
*provisional race results subject to change
“I’m really happy for Tony and Colin,” said Nielsen Racing Team Principle, Sven Thompson, “They drove a very strong race and after a bit of bad luck in earlier races this season got a well-deserved result on the track where it really counts. James [Littlejohn] had a great stint and was backed up well by Nobu, too.”
The second race of the Le Mans Cup will take place in front of a huge crowd ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday morning, when the Corby based team will be in the hunt for more trophies.
Source. BAM Motorsports