24 Hours 2011 - 11.06.2011

The Le Mans 24 Hours weekend was one of highs and lows for CRS Racing and Roger Wills.

 

Practice and qualifying was marred by 2 incidents which resulted in lengthy periods spent in the garage. Despite the huge pressure the CRS team did a fantastic job to enable the car to qualify which it duly did.

 

At 3pm local time the 79th running of the Le Mans 24 hour race started and Shaun Lynn did a consistent job before handing over to Pierre. Following a couple of tyre issues and a visit to the gravel he handed over to Roger earlier than scheduled who completed a double stint taking him to around 10pm. Of his first stint Roger commented:

 

“I was not nervous before I got in the car despite the enormity of the event and felt really calm. I think I've waited for the opportunity to do Le Mans for so long that excitement was my main emotion, not nerves. I was very happy with my 2 hour double stint. I settled very quickly into a good pace and felt very comfortable in the car. The speed differential between the prototypes and GT cars is huge and you need to be constantly aware of cars approaching from behind. I managed to record the fastest time of our 3 drivers in our car in the race so was very happy with my first run.”

 

Unfortunately shortly after Roger got out of the 62 car Shaun ran into further problems as Roger explained:

 

“I went to get out of my race suit, have a bite to eat and get some rest before I was scheduled to be back in the car around 2am. Just as I was eating dinner I heard the commentators say our car had lost control in the Ford Chicane near the start/finish line and gone backwards into the wall quite heavily.”

 

Despite the valiant efforts of the CRS team who were communicating with Shaun through the catch fencing the damage was too significant for the car to continue and was officially retired just before midnight.

 

Obviously the retirement was a real disappointment especially as the early race pace showed that an class podium was well within reach. Reflecting on the event Roger focused on the positives and will carry his personal momentum to the next round of the ILMC at Imola:

 

“The whole event was an absolutely incredible experience and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The drivers parade through the centre of Le Mans on Friday was mind-blowing. The build up to the race start also was a real highlight. I am looking forward to getting back in the groove again at Imola in a few weeks time and scoring some good points for the championship.”

 

Elsewhere during the Le Mans weekend Roger competed in two cars in the Le Mans Legend support race.

 

Sharing the beautiful 1965 Bizzarrini 5300GT Competizione with Joe Twyman he finished 4th overall and 1st in class having lead the first half of the race.

 

Roger also shared the ex Graham Hill Lotus 15 with former Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro. Fuel feed issues prevented the duo taking what would have been a strong top 6 finish.

 

The next time out for the historic cars will be at Silverstone for the World Renowned Silverstone Classic weekend at the end of July.

 


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© Roger Wills Racing 2011