Brands GP Jun 2006
Back at Brands GP again, looking for better luck in the CSL-GT this time! Things have always gone a bit astray at this circuit and we were looking to break that jinx! Tony Rodriguez teamed up with Phil Hopkins again for this race. The car had to be quickly rebuilt after Spa, including a new engine, which unfortunately meant we had to do the bulk of running in during practice at the circuit! The engine still was not fully run in, and as a result was fairly down on power still, and felt very tight like a new car always does! We qualified 11th overall with a 1m37.24 which was 3rd in class. Not too bad considering, but quite a bit slower than the previous year partly because of the weaker new engine and partly because the track conditions were very bad, with a very dirty track indeed causing all sorts of problems. Anthony joined Jacobo Sebastiani in the F40 V12 and they qualified 12th with a 1:37.324. The race was actually split over 2 days into 1 race of 1hr on the Saturday and a race of 2hrs on the Sunday. The results were linked, so Sunday's grid was the same as the end of Saturday's race. Tony started the Saturday race, and was thumped by a Marcos coming out of Druids on the rear wheel. Everything seemed fine, and he battled on for 35 minutes until he hit a brake issue. He pitted to find brake fluid leaking from the rear, as a result of the impact. Phil took over the reigns and 10 minutes or so later suffered a rear wheel failure. The wheel itself was fine, but had come loose as a result of the earlier impact. Luckily, Phil was able to save the car with no major damage, but the recovery was delayed resulting in a no-finish. The F40 faced similar luck with a failing gearbox linkage after just 20 laps. On to Sunday, and both cars started near the back with the CSL in 14th and the Ferrari in 15th. The CSL got off to a great start working its way right to the front of the grid, running 4th or 5th and 1st in class. The F40 performed similarly, driving up the field to a final 6th position overall with a best lap of 1:34.661 which was actually 1st in class! The CSL was not so lucky and just 15 minutes from the end suffered from a failing throttle pot which resulting in no throttle pedal control at all! Despite this, the car still finished 9th overall and 4th in class. A mixed day, where we nearly had a great finish for both cars. Damn those Gremlins!!