The Biggest Launch of 2018 – Now Introduction: White Out
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Nielsen Racing secures second P4 Road to Le Mans finish of the weekend – just hours before making their 24 Hours of Le Mans debut. A last-minute tyre call by Tony Wells and a lightning fast pit stop by Nielsen’s Le Mans Cup crew ensured the team were rewarded with another fourth place result in the Road to Le Mans – Le Mans Cup’s blue riband round which takes place ahead of the world’s greatest 24-hour endurance race.
Following the morning’s 24 Hours of Le Mans warm-up, a visible dry line was enough for Tony to gamble on slicks, whilst teammate Rob Hodes – who took the start for the sister #10 Duqueine, opted for Michelin wets. Due to the unpredictable track conditions, the race began under safety car. Both bronze drivers stayed out for one green lap before pitting and handing over to their pro driver counterparts. Colin Noble took the chequered flag eight places higher that where the #7 pairing started, which included an epic pass on the rival Graff Ligier. A transponder issue for Garett meant his nine-lap stint went largely unrecorded, however he crossed the line P13 after 55 minutes.
“Car 7 qualified relatively well, starting the race in P5 which put us in the hunt for a podium finish. Unfortunately, Tony got a little bit swamped at the start which made things a bit tricky but he picked it up from there and it was a good solid stint. We had a clean pit stop – the time was good and then obviously Colin had to make chase and he had a fair bit of traffic to tackle to start off with. He just missed out on the fastest lap overall – it was a good race for Car #7.
In terms of Car #10, it’s been a challenging 34 hours after the damage we sustained in FP2 from one of the track markers that ultimately meant we had to re-chassis the car overnight. The guys worked through the night and the car was ready just in time for qualifying. Since then, the car’s run pretty faultlessly and they were able to bring home a strong finish. Rob’s getting a few more laps in and starting to get more familiar with the Le Mans circuit, so hopefully in Race 2 they can make some big progress.”
“The team did an unbelievable job, worked all through the night. Literally took the car apart and then put it back together again after an unfortunate incident yesterday that affected the chassis. They had it ready with 15 minutes to go before qualifying.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a great qualifying position and that was quite frustrating for me being stuck behind slower cars. We had a good race. My pace was really good but unfortunately I just got too frustrated behind the slower cars, so made a pass attempt that wasn’t the wisest and that cost us and set us back but then Garett did a good job – picking up a few spots from where we qualified. Racing at Le Mans is racing at Le Mans – so I’m having an awesome time!”
“This was never a dream of mine when I started racing all those years ago, and even when we were crowned Asian Le Mans champions in Thailand. To be honest, I forgot that we’d won the entry to Le Mans, but oh my – have I loved every minute of it? It was a super experience. We had a few challenges through the race but we got to the end and that last lap was amazing. Just the winding down with the flags out and that guy in the middle of the track waving the chequered flag, it was like going back to the 60s. It was just incredible.“
Nielsen’s 2020 racing calendar
|27/9||Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio||R5||IMSA|
|17/10||Petit Le Mans||R6||IMSA|