United Autosports leave Paul Ricard with the Michelin Le Mans Cup championship lead after John Schauerman and Wayne Boyd scored their second podium finish in as many races yesterday at Le Castellet.
After a tough qualifying session, with a red flag interrupting a smooth running for the Ligier JS P320s, all three cars started further back in the pack than was desired. #32’s Daniel Schneider started 13th, John Schauerman in the #23 started 16th, whilst Gerry Kraut started the #22 in 26th.
A strong start from Daniel, John and Gerry meant they all managed to stay out of trouble after an aggressive racing start down to the first turn.
The safety car was brought out after 25 minutes, seeing all three cars diving into the pits for fuel and tyre changes. Daniel, John and Gerry returned to the track and continued to extract maximum pace from the cars ahead of the half way point of the race.
Unfortunately, Gerry sustained substantial rear floor damage after a competitor made contact with him not long before he was due to pit to hand the car over to Scott Andrews, which resulted in car #22 having to retire.
In the #32 Ligier, Daniel showed great pace in his race stint and made up several places at the start of the race, despite an unfortunate overtake that caused a spin on track. Daniel continued to improve his lap times throughout his stint, running as high as third, after a good safety car strategy, whilst managing damage that was incurred during the first lap before pitting to hand the Ligier over to Andy Meyrick. Andy was involved in a close battle with teammate Wayne Boyd in the #23, with Andy ultimately crossing the line seventh.
John Schauerman also had a good start but managed to pick up a drive through penalty for slight contact with another car. Once his penalty was served, John returned to the track and began setting personal best lap times, determined to make up for the drive through penalty. After his stint, he handed the car over to Wayne Boyd, with the #23 Ligier JS P320 storming through the field. Wayne crossed the line third, earning the team their second well-deserved podium out of two races.
John and Wayne now sit joint first in the championship, heading into the next round at Monza on 9-10 July with 33 points. The #22 lies fourth, with the #32 improving to eighth after two rounds.
“This race was just amazing in so many ways. I need to thank United for all their hard work, and Wayne, they all did an amazing job. It was so fun to be in the race and bring the car back to handover to Wayne. We had perfect pit stops, and that was down to lots of practice, which really helped. Overall, being on the podium was one of the most fun things that’s ever happened to me, and I am just so happy with how the weekend went.”
“Mega race. Absolutely delighted for John too that we got on the podium. A big thanks to United, the strategy was perfect to get us up the order and the car felt really good. It’s great going into the next round as championship leaders.”
“The pace we had this weekend was really promising, and I really enjoyed my race. It was frustrating to get some damage on the opening lap but the team did a great job to allow Andy to take over and cross the line in seventh. I am really looking forward to getting back in the car now at Monza.”
“After such an eventful race I am just happy to cross the finish line and score some points. As always, a super job by the team on the strategy. Now Daniel and I are fully focused on Monza.”
“After a difficult qualifying session, we were making good process through the field. Our pace was good and United made great strategy calls to put us in a very good position for a quality finish. Unfortunately, a fellow competitor, drilled the back of our car which ended our race. On to Monza now.”
“An unfortunate end to what could have been a great result for the #22 crew. We made a great strategy call and Gerry was charging through the field, putting us in a great position inside the top five after pit stops. Sadly, Gerry was cleaned up by another driver and the car was too damaged to continue. The car felt great in practice so it’s a sad way to not only forfeit the championship lead but also not be able to finish the race. We regroup and look forward to Monza.”
Source. United Autosports