After the race the stewards of the meeting gave our #13 Ligier JS P3 a penalty for “a non respect of driving time for the Bronze driver”. One minute 43 seconds were added to the total race time. Eurointernational won the race and we finished second.
We are still first in the championship and seven points ahead of Eurointernational. And it was our ninth podium in a row (four times first/four times second/one time third).
The ninth podium in a row for the #13 LMP3 with Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore is now a fact.
The fourth round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone started under grey skies with a lillte drizzle, which soon turned into a proper rain. The LMP2 #34 with Kuba Smiechowski behind the wheel stayed out on slicks as did Sam Dejonghe in #14 LMP3. Martin Hippe in the #13 LMP3 went for safe and changed to rain tyres. After about 20 minutes the rain stopped.
In the second hour, while in 4thplace, the #14 got hit by the #30 LMP2 (which got a drive through penalty for this). Unfortunately the #14 had too much damage to continue. The third hour saw two safety car periods. After the second restart, while in 8thplace, the #34 got hit by another LMP2 and dropped to 12th. The #13 was in second place. Then Hippe and Moore inherited the win due to the fact that the leading LMP3, the #11 of Eurointernational, got a 30 second penalty.
#13 Martin Hippe: “We decided to go for the safer option to go to rain tyres because of where we are in the championship. The car was good and very reliable again, the team did a good job. To win again is great for the championship points. And now we lead by 21 points.”
#13 Nigel Moore: “The car was not too bad. We struggled a bit in practice and qualifying but we knew going into the race we had a reliable and consistent car and we stayed out of trouble. We were not the fastest but very consistent throughout the race. At the end we saved some fuel and we pushed a little bit and we finished where we needed to be.”
#14 Sam Dejonghe: “I think the LMP2 which hit me, did an overambitious move into the chicane. It hit me very late on the entry and spun me around and damaged the radiator. Then I got hit by another car which damaged the front. Unfortunately there was just too much damage to continue. At the beginning of the race we stayed on slicks, which was tricky but it worked. We moved up till third, as our race pace was good. I am sad for my team mate Paul (Scheuschner) who did not get to drive. So far we have not been very lucky, so I keep my fingers crossed for Spa.”
#34 Lukas Dunner:“My first stint in the car was really crazy. I had to get used to the slower cars and the many other LMP2s to get a clean lap and find my way through the field. I made one small mistake but the rest was fine and I enjoyed every second in the car.”
#34 Adrien Tambay: “Overall it could have been better. We missed a little bit of pace. During my stint, I gained some positions but then got hit by the another LMP2. There was nothing I could do about it. I did not expect him to be where he was, it might also have been a bit too risky of him. I tried to bring the car home as good as possible as there was some damage. P12 is not what we want. Both Lukas and Kuba did a good job. Kuba stayed on slicks in the rain and nothing went wrong, which was very good. It was also a good strategy. Lukas, for his first time in the car, was also very good.
Michael Keese (Team director): “I feel a bit sorry for the #14 as they had the chance to finish better than the #13. And the #34 had another bit of bad luck. Both incidents had nothing to do with our drivers, but were the mistakes of other cars. But we are obviously happy with our very constant #13 and the ninth podium in a row is very special.”
Next race: ELMS Spa 20 – 22 September