The 5th and final round of the Racedepartment RDLMS series has finally made its way to Circuit de la Sarthe for the 12 hours of Lemans. We are rolling in with 1 LMP1 Audi R10 and 1 GT2 Ferrari 430. The Audi was sporting some new colors in honor of the late Giampiero Moretti who died a couple weeks ago. Moretti and the whole MOMO team were a huge inspiration to alot of us at Satellite and best wishes to the family and friends. God speed GM
Back to the race itself, we were surprised with the speed from our GT car in qualifying as Nick Rowland managed to grab 4th place on the grid using a race setup. The Audi would be rolling off from 7th in LMP1 but both squads knew it was a long road ahead. The race got under way and the opening hour was uneventful. Just passed the hour mark though Nick Rowland was clipped by a Porsche he had just gotten around for 3rd coming out of Arnage which cut his left rear tire down. The tire went flat as he came into the Porsche curves and the car got away. He smacked the wall hard and the car was done. Nick was apologetic to the team even though it was deemed a racing incident. This meant in 3 starts for the Ferrari it would finish once, last time out at Road Atlanta.
“It’s disappointing for us but what can you do? That’s racing.” – Matt Strand
The Audi soldiered on with David Nichols, Dave Jordan, and Mike Smulcheski and worked its way as high as 2nd with pit strategy. It was all going smoothly and to plan for the Audi guys up until the 4th hour where the car suddenly died on Mike out on the Mulsanne straight. He attempted to get it running and limp back to the garage for near an hour before the team told him to pack it in. We would finish 28th and 31st overall with both cars. It’s a sad end to our RDLMS season and a difficult one throughout but there’s no time to hang our heads as the 2012 calendar year is still very young. Plenty of time and races to turn it around still and we aim to do just that.