Great Result at Estoril

26th November 2007

Last weekend Nick flew home from Estoril after a very eventful V-de-V race, bringing home 6th place with his race partner Jean-Lou Rhion. This was the last V-de-V round of the season, also Nick and Jean-Lou’s first time in the Ligier.

After practice on Friday, Saturday’s qualifying session bought complications to Nick’s flying laps. The session had been running for a short while before the new pole time had been set, Nick decided that this lap was going to be his flyer for the session, however when exiting the last corner and crossing the line to start the lap, a red light was thrown on the session because of a stationery that had parked in the middle of one of the corners.

When the session had be given a green light, Nick got back on the pace to start another flying lap, by this time the GT cars were released (2nd Qualifying) from the pits which then compromised his qualifying session further.

Nick and Jean-Lou would now be starting the race from 16th on the grid; Nick said “The red light was what really threw us off competition for the first two rows, after that I never had a clear run”. Now with qualifying over, 16th on the grid, and a full two seconds off the pace, Nick and Jean-Lou had their work cut out for Sunday’s 6 hour endurance.

Sunday morning bought the last round of the V-de-V championship and Nick was to do the first stint starting from 16th on the grid.

With the race underway, within forty minutes Nick had sawn through the pack unscathed to 6th place, then shortly after he chased down 5th and was on his way to 4th.

During Nick’s epic chase to the front of the pack, two safety car periods were thrown into play, but this still didn’t stop him from chasing. A safety car was deployed for the third time in the race, so Nick decided to take advantage and pit for fuel and driver change.

Jean-Lou jumped straight in the car and headed for fuel but due to a busy pit lane, JL and the team decided to come back for fuel. JL then entered the pits 3 laps later for 71 litres of fuel, running the rest of his stint in 7th gaining one place, JL knocked 3 seconds off his personal best during the stint!

Nick jumped in for another stint, refuelled the car to end and left the pits to take up 6th place, this was when the race took an unexpected turn.

A red flag was thrown on the race because the meeting had run out of fuel, this resulted in the race ending 1hour and 20 minutes too early with Nick and Jean-Lou being classified 9th.

Nick said “What a great race it was all action from the word go. With the mix of GT cars and prototypes around this twisty track it made it very interesting at times!! Jean Lou drove really well bringing his lap times down through his 2hr stint" "I just want to say a big thanks to Jean Lou for this race and everyone at IF Motorsport for a great weekend and well done to Juno Racing for winning the V de V championship!”

Race Report by Elliot Weir

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