Ben Clucas Racing

Mechanical Problems in Qualifying Cause the Race to be Difficult at Nogaro in FIA GT3

Problems in qualifying make for an exciting action packed race, but meant getting a good result was difficult

 

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Mechanical Problems in Qualifying Cause the Race to be Difficult at Nogaro in FIA GT3 Ben and Robert travelled to the south of France never having seen the Nogaro circuit before.

The first of the 2 one-hour test sessions was wet, conditions that Ben loves. At the end of the session, both Ben and the team were happy to end up 12th fastest in the 34 car field, well clear of the other Jaguar. Session 2 was dry and spent mainly learning the track, again the number 32 car ending up fastest of the Jaguar runners.

Unfortunately when it came to qualifying, the 100% reliability record that the Apex team had previously enjoyed came to an end. Early in qualifying 1 Robert had a gearbox problem, effectively ending his session, meaning in both qualifying sessions only 3 slow laps to qualify for the race were possible. This meant that the duo would have to battle from more or less last in both races.

Race 1 was a quiet affair. At the end of the 1-hour incident free race Ben brought the car home in 24th.

Race 2 was where the British driver showed his true colours. Starting from 32nd, he past car after car on the tight twisty Nogaro circuit giving the car to Robert in 14th by the pitstops, having passed the other Jaguar runner and also the car that eventually finished up 3rd. Robert, having had very limited running during the weekend, drove well to finish up 19th by the flag.

Although the results weren't as he would have wanted, Ben was reasonably happy with the weekend. "It was a little disappointing having the problem in qualifying 1, but to run a brand new car all year and that be our first mechanical problem is a testament to the good job Apex Motorsport is doing. Race 2 was a lot of fun and to pass about 15 cars in as many laps made it really exciting. Obviously everybody within the team want to finish higher, but we have to remember this is a development year, and we are improving all the time. I'm really looking forward to Dubai as the circuit should suit the car better. I've also never been there before, so it will be interesting to see the difference in culture."

 

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