The first Michelin Le Mans Cup round proved to be a challenge for Nielsen Racing team. The team made significant strides over the week in developing the new Duqueine M30-D08 at Paul Ricard, ultimately unlocking race pace following a disappointing qualifying.
Le Castellet Round results
#7 Tony Wells & Colin Noble
Qualified – P7 1:51.567
Race – P14 P19 overall after 57 laps
#10 Rob Hodes & Garett Grist
Qualified – P14 1:52.514
Race – P9 P9 overall after 60 laps
#20 Mark Crader & Alex Mortimer
Qualified – P17 1:57.338
Race – P8 P8 overall after 60 laps
Stuart Moseley, Team Manager LMC
“Today was somewhat disappointing. Tony made a good start and the result at the end, with them having to do an extra pitstop for repairs after having our right-rear legality panel removed by another car is really disappointing because I think that, without it they (Wells and Noble) would have been on the podium.
“It was a bit more of a challenging race for the #10 car but they came back strong to recover towards the end. The #20 Grainmarket car had a good race! Unfortunately they didn’t have a very good qualifying and had to come from the back of the grid and to be running in the middle of the top ten, and to come home with a top ten result is pretty good and from their perspective. They’ve just picked from where they got to last year and hopefully they can progress more through the remainder of the season.”
Mark Crader, #20
“The race was interesting and it didn’t turn out too bad in the end. We had a terrible qualifying (23rd) and to finish eighth is as good as you could expect, a bit lucky in places. The new car feels nice, I think we’ve got better balance than the last one (Norma) and it’s just the first step on the learning curve.”
Colin Noble, #7
“Tony did a great job at the start, going up to third and was holding his own but unfortunately a rival knocked the rear cheese [legality panel] off the car which means you have to pit to fix it and that’s where we lost a couple of laps. After that there’s no coming back in a two-hour race.
“Seeing what happened in front of us, we should have been up there I think. The car was actually an improvement from what it has been this week and I was relatively happy with the car during the race as the pace wasn’t too bad.”
Source. BAM Motorsports