Datum: 19.11.2011 · 24h Le Mans
A barely missed podium for Ehret & Co at the ILMC-final
Pierre Ehret and his both copilots Roger Wills and Tim Mullen just missed the podium of the GTE-AM-class at the 6 hours of Zuhai, their last race of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2011. After an early lead by Mullen Ehret experienced a tire failure in his 1st stint that ruined the race for the Crew of the CRS-Ferrari F430 GTE.
Ehret did just pass the pit entrance as the tire failed. „That meant we lost in total 2 laps as I had to crawl back slowly to the pit on my disintegrating tire. This was crucial because at the end we were 1 minute behind the 3rd placed opponent – the Krohn Racing Frerrari – we lost the podium to.“ The F430 started the race in China from class-pole.
But tire-woes were not the only problem the crew had to deal with. „Also our brakes began to fade away early, which was unexpected to all 3 drivers, after they worked fine in the practice and qualifying. We had to brake up to 20m earlier which meant we had to deal with poor laptimes. Our opponents form Krohn got aware of the same problems but they could afford to change the brakepads, which we couldn´t after our mishap. That made the difference in the end“
Finally Ehret, Wills and Mullen crossed the line after 215 laps and 6 hours as 4th in class and 15th overall. The distance to the 3rd placed GTE-Am-Ferrari of Krohn racing was just 61 seconds. Winner in GTE-Am was the german Proton-Felbermayr-Team with the Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried, Richard Lietz and Gianluca Roda. Overall-winner was the Works-Peugeot of Sebastian Bourdais and Anthony Davidson.
It was the last ILMC-race of the CRS-Team as the british outfit will focus ist efforts on the development of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in 2012. Also it was presumably the last competetive outing of Ehrets F430 GTC as next year the change to another car will become necessary.