Oliver and Tommy endured a trying race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, and battled against a number of setbacks to take 6th place in the GT class at the conclusion of the 2 hour 45 minute fourth round of the American Le Mans Series.
Starting from third place on the grid, the defending ALMS GT champions encountered misfortune early on when Tommy Milner was the victim of unwanted attention from a fellow competitor which resulted in damage requiring an unscheduled pitstop. Olly explains what happened:
“Right from Turn 1 it was never really going to be our day. There was some contact going into the first corner, Tommy was getting squeezed and he had to get out of it otherwise he’d have spun the #62 Ferrari around. He lost a wing mirror because of that and the regulations are that you have to run with two mirrors so we had to make a stop to fix that and that put us behind some slower traffic. Once that happened it was effectively impossible to get by because the circuit is narrow, short and tight and difficult to pass on. We also don’t have the straight line speed to get by some of the other cars.
“We ended up being passed by the lead BMW and going a lap down and from then on we were always playing catch up, trying to find ways to get back on the lead lap. We had a bad stop when I got in the car; the data cable somehow didn’t detach and I left the pits with it in which we got a penalty for.
“Then PC cars were hitting me! It was very fraught on the track, the traffic was the worst I’ve ever seen here – the desperation in some people’s moves was pretty extraordinary. It was a very, very hot day which didn’t help and I think some people were making some pretty rash moves.
“For us to salvage 6th place out of it was good as it could have been a lot worse. We now need to go onto the next few races and have some solid results, get back on the podium and in the winners’ circle. We’ve had a couple of bad races where things haven’t run well for us but it happens; it’s frustrating and difficult but everybody has them. In a season which is as competitive as this one, everyone’s going to have a couple of rough races and we’ve just had ours now. We’ve got to get back to running at the front and get good results.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – best known to us all as Mosport. I love it there and there have been some major changes there since last year so we’re all looking forward to seeing them. I’m not sure whether the track will drive any differently; it’s a fast, flowing and challenging track and it does seem to suit our car and team. To go from here to there is a breath of fresh air.”
The ALMS and Olly now head for Bowmanville, east of Toronto in Canada, for the 2h 45 minute fifth round on Sunday 21st July.