Nissan-powered cars took the top six positions in the LMP2 class of yesterday’s 6 Hours of Spa. The second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship is seen by the teams as the final rehearsal before next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours so a Nissan-powered podium is perfect preparation for a manufacturer who will supply engines to 15 of the 22 LMP2 cars entered for Le Mans.
It was the Pecom Racing Oreca-Nissan that took the top spot at Spa, very closely followed by the No.24 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan and the Jota Zytek-Nissan. At the end of six hours of racing the top three in LMP2 were covered by just 29 seconds, demonstrating how closely fought the battle will be at Le Mans.
The No.26 G-Drive Racing entry of Roman Rusinov, John Martin and Mike Conway finished the race in fifth place despite Roman being forced into the tyre barrier when his drink tube somehow got tangled in the steering wheel, forcing him off track. It was one of those freak accidents that has never happened before and will probably never happen again. Roman got the Oreca-Nissan back to the pits and the G-Drive squad set about the repairs, turning it around fast and getting the car back in the race. The fifth place finish actually takes the points for fourth place as the Jota car in third is not a full time WEC entrant.
The G-Drive by Delta-ADR Oreca-Nissan suffered a much worse fate than the sister car. Antonio Pizzonia was forced wide by a GT car, which put him into a spin. He recovered quickly but although the car felt good, the contact had damaged the suspension. Unfortunately for Pizzonia the suspension failure made itself known as he went through Eau Rouge and he was pitched into the barrier. Prior to the accident the no.25 car was running well and looking good to consolidate the championship lead.
G-Drive Racing team boss, Simon Dowson said: “It’s not the preparation I was hoping for before Le Mans but we learned some more things regarding the new tyre and with the support of our partners – Nissan, Oreca and Dunlop – we are confident we can deliver the result we all desire at Le Mans.”
The teams running in the European Le Mans Series have one more race to go before Le Mans. The 3 Hours of Imola takes place on 19 May and after that the next stop for everyone is the Le Mans Test Day on 9 June.