SATURDAY 14 JUNE 2008

FARNBACHER GT2 FERRARI LOOKING STRONG AS THE SUN SETS AT LE MANS


Wednesday qualifying was the perfect time for the three Farnbacher Racing Ferrari drivers to aclimitise themselves once again with the 13.64km La Sarthe circuit, just outside the town of Le Mans.

That strategy worked well. Other teams almost didn't rate their effort, assuming they would be just making up the numbers. And that's just how you can slip under the radar.

Lets rewind – it's Thursday night and the light is falling. And so are the times of Nielsen, Kaffer and Ehret.

Finally it was time to set that qualifying special and it was elected that 31 year old and ex-Audi works driver, Pierre Kaffer, should give it his best shot. He didn't disappoint snapping a 4.00 which would hold him in 5th place. A very solid effort. This is a guy who worked extensively with Audi developing the current R10 diesel and can match times with Allan McNish, on call.

With no mechanical dramas, it was a case of trying different settings that could be unravelled as the race unfolded.

Whilst no one is on track during Friday there is plenty going on – further setup details, pit stop tests, fuel strategies and the awesome Parade du Pilote through the crowded streets of ancient Le Mans.

Saturday morning arrived suddenly and the team took advantage of the 45 minute warm up session to ensure each driver had a chance to feel comfortable with the car, prior to the 3pm start.

Pierre Snr – Ehret – was the nominatecd start driver and put in a solid job holding the 5th place down as the race got underway. Strong competition would come from other Ferrari's and the Porsche 997 RSR.


Ehret would hand over to Kaffer in the second hour having moved up to 43rd place. The young German then took off driving though to 39th before pitting for Nielsen to start his stint. He was really up for it.

"We have such a wise driver pairing here. Thats what is important at Le Mans. Its almost a case of knowing when to go slower rather than faster because if you can't do that its easy to get dragged into other peoples problems. You must run your own race.

"I suppose all drivers get a bit nervous before a race and in fact if they didn't it would almost be a bad sign. This place deserves respect and it can bite you if you don't. I've seen it before many times. We all will run our own pace and I think the team will be in great shape once the morning comes.


Nielsen put in a faultless drive, allowing Ehret to return to the track in 39th position.

For many others things weren't going as well as they had expected.

The leading Peugeots LMP1's were pitting earlier than expected, allowing the backfooted Audi R10's the sniff of success.

Two of the top Porsche GT2's got caught up with each other, delaying one significantly with repairs, whilst the last years winner – the IMSA/MATMUTentry was sidelined, unable to scramble back to the pit.

The Krohn Ferrari run by Risi was also badly damaged and retired early.

As the 6th hour closes, things are running well.

Light is starting to fall and that when it gets even more difficult but the Farnbacher team is wise on strategy and they will no doubt be there as the sun rise.

2008 LE MANS 24 HOURS - GT2 RESULTS AFTER 6 HOURS
POSITION
TEAM | DRIVERS
RACE CAR
1
Risi Competitione| J Melo / M Salo / G Bruni
Ferrari 430 GT2
2
Felbermaye r- Proton | M Lieb / A Davison / H Felbermayer Sr
Porsche 997 GT3 RSR
3
AF Corse SRL | T Villander / T Biagi / C Montanari
Ferrari 430 GT2
4
Virgo Motorsport | R Bell / T Mullen / T Sugden
Ferrari 430 GT2
5
BMS Scuderia Italia | M Malucelli / P Ruperti / F Bambini
Ferrari 430 GT2
6
FARNBACHER RACING | L E NEILSEN/ P KAFFER / P EHRET
Ferrari 430 GT2



Dedicated Farnbacher Racing at Le Mans website


is available at

2008lemans24hour.com



Live Timing from Le Mans 24 Hour is available here.

Live trackside audio commentary from RADIO LEMANS is available here.