Datum: 25.06.2014 · 24h Le Mans
Retirement after accident at the 24h Nürburgring
The first appearance of a GT3-Ferrari at the 42nd 24hours of the Nürburgring did not end in a successful way for Pierre Ehret, and his teammates Alexander Mattschull, Andrea Barlesi and Mike Jäger. An off-course excursion after a tire damage at the "Flugplatz"-section on the Nürburgring Nordschleife on sunday morning 6 O´Clock, ended a nealy faultless race at halfway distance for the Ferrari-squad and its green machine. Pierre Ehret was at the wheel and was cruising on a solid 19th overall when the deciding incident happened in his 86th. lap.
"I was just behind Hatzenbach in the fast left on the way to "Flugplatz" as suddenly my right rear tyre exploded. That sent me into a spin and a crash into the barriers. Although the car was damaged at the left front, I followed the instructions of the team and limped down to Breitscheider Bridge which is half distance on the track, to meet our mechanics there. They made a fast check and decided that the damages of suspension and brakediscs was much too extensive to be repaired just in time.
We believe that a piece of carbon-debris punctured the tire and caused the damage. Unfortunately our car wasn´t fitted with tire-pressure sensors, like some cars of our opponents. After this experience we will have to do such an update. After all I´m glad the tire blew up in this 3rd gear corner. Only half a minute later I would have crossed the 6th gear "Schwedenkreuz"-bend which would have resulted in a much severe off. But I have to admitt that I´m dissappointed because just 2 laps later I was supposed to end my stint. According to the team our laptimes were constant around the 8.40´s. After all we now know what is possible with the Ferrari and we definetly want to come back for this race next year.
In the qualifying the GT-Corse by Rinaldi Racing crew claimed a first success. A fastest lap of 8:33,491 guaranteed the team one of 11 free slots for the Top-30 qualifying and - more important - the installation of a blue-flashlight that indicates the approaching of a fast car for slower opponents during the race. In the Top-30 qualifying pilot Alexander Mattschull confirmed the teams performance with another 8:33,521 lap and the 29th spot on the 167 car big grid.
Also teammanager Danny Pfeil (GT-Corse by Rinaldi Racing) made positive conclusions after the race: "It was a great battle and it was exciting for all the 24 hours. Unfortunately we missed our goal to archieve a Top-10 spot, but we are satisfied with our performance. We would have loved to archieve a finish. But the reliability and the regular lap-times were very impressive. I guarantee that we will be back with our Ferrari in 2015!"
Next weekend the next race for Pierre Ehret and his GT-Corse Team is scheduled with the 3 hours of Le Castellet, the 3rd heat of the Blancpain Endurance Series 2014.