We set off for Dix Mille Tours with our 1964 Porsche 901 and a customers 1965 Porsche 911 to race in the Peter Auto 60’s Endurance series.
We went out for practice with both cars running well. The 1965 Porsche 911 was getting faster and faster as the drivers were learning the circuit. Our 1964 came in with Andrew complaining with a problem on the rear. After jacking the car up and taking a look we saw that there were no issues so changed the rear wheel in question and sent Andrew out again. He came past with his thumb up and then put in a lap time that was 2.5 seconds faster than our car had ever been at Paul Ricard. A great teastament to our mid season developments!
After practice we got both cars up on stands and checked through everything as qualifying was only a few hours away. In qualifying Andrew Smith put in his flying lap on his 2nd out lap in the 64 car. This was 2.5 seconds quicker than our car had been at Paul Ricard so he came in and patiently waited to see if anyone could better his time, which they couldn’t. The 65 car was again getting quicker and quicker and finished the session mid grid, 5th in class and the 5th 911 (out of 14).
Race time was soon upon us on Saturday afternoon and the lights went green. The 65 car made up 12 places on the first lap jumping to 4th in class and 36th overall. Putting in consistant lap times and maintaining position. Andrew in the 64 car extended his lead in class until the pitstop but unfortunately in the meantime developed a misfire just before the pitstop. As well as this the stop clock decided not to work during the pitstop meaning we didn’t know how far we were into our manditory 5 minutes and 26 seconds stop. We managed to put a clock on the car ourselves but this quite a while after Andrew came into the pitlane. We thought it was better to be safe than sorry so sent him out after our clock got to 5.26. A minute or so delay was a far better option than getting a 5 or 10 minute penalty after the race. Straight after this the 65 car came in for it’s pitstop and driver change. This time the stop clock had worked! The first driver notified us that the front of the car felt a little less responsive and also that one of the rears had a flat spot. We got the rear of the car in the air and changed the rear tyre. Then got the front in the air to check over the front suspension and steering. We couldn’t see a problem, sent them out back out again telling them to come in if the problem was still there.
Andrew was now P2 in class and 20 seconds behind the P1 car with 40 minutes of the race to go. Even with the misfire Andrew bugan to cut into that lead at around 1-2 seconds a lap. Making up time each lap eventually Andrew had the P1 Porsche in is sights and got right on his bumper. After a couple of laps Andrew made his move and took back P1 with 15 minutes left. As this happened the 65 car came straight through the pitlane and parked the car with suspected steering rack issue (this was confirmed once back at the workshop). A huge shame with only 15 minutes to go. Andrew managed to maintain his pace and drive round the misfore to take a well earned 1st in class, 1st Porsche and 17th overall.
A good weekend was had by all and I’m afraid that’s us done for the 2016 season. Stay tuned for our 2017 race plans. Thank to Remi Dargegen for the photos.