There was drama aplenty in the LMP3 class in the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series at Yas Marina, and through it all came the Nielsen Racing squad to record a historic one-two finish, keeping itself in contention of defending its LMP3 championship.
For Colin Noble, a late race Full Course Yellow changed the complexion of his and #9 teammate Tony Well’s race, as he took advantage of the caution period to vault from fourth to first, a lead he would retain to the chequered flag. Behind him, Matt Bell and #8 teammate Rodrigo Sales took advantage of others misfortune to move to the head of the field and looked set to record their first Asian Le Mans Series win, until that late race intervention.
It was a fantastic performance from the team with flawless stops, and as ever in Motorsport, Nielsen Racing took advantage of the opportunities afforded to them and head into Saturday’s season finale on a high following the team’s first one-two result in this series.
|Colin Noble, #9 Ligier JS P320
“It was a tough end of the race for me. I was double stinting the tyres at the end of the race, but the team got it spot on with the strategy, boxing Tony early – who also did a double – and it turned out perfectly for us.”
|Matt Bell, #8 Ligier JS P320
“First and foremost, it was a great 1-2 finish for the team. A lot of hard work over the last two weeks has gone into that result from Nielsen’s and Sven’s side, and it’s a massive reward for the team. Obviously, just the wrong way around for what we wanted!
“We were pretty sure that we had the win in the bag for such a long time. Rodrigo drove a great double stint, certainly the strongest stint that he has done so far. He’s starting to get used to the LMP3 cars and it’s starting to show in his lap times. I was able to get in and just had to push pretty hard for the first hour because I knew we were on different strategies, After that first pit stop it looked like all the hard work was done and we’d won the race, and then a bit of bad luck! That FCY played right to the hand of our sister car and Colin was able to pit and jump us. I did everything I could and managed to close the 10s gap, gave Sven and the team a bit of a heart in mouth final half hour but I just wasn’t able to challenge Colin amongst the traffic. Hopefully we get better luck today.”
No. 8 | Rodrigo Sales & Matt Bell
Qualified – P6 2:04.380
Race – P2 P8 overall after 106 laps
No. 9 | Tony Wells & Colin Noble
Qualified – P7 2:04.424
Race – WIN P7 overall after 106 laps
No. 8 | Matt Bell
Qualified – P5 2:04.54
No. 9 | Colin Noble
Qualified – P7 2:04.904
#9 Wells/Noble – 2nd position – 43 points
#8 Sales/Bell – 4th position – 33 points