Ecurie Ecosse brought home further silverware from the Michelin Le Mans Cup following a great run to second position in round four of the series at Paul Ricard at the weekend (25 – 26 August, 2017).
The programme started well with Colin Noble and Tony Wells recording the third fastest time in the opening practice session, despite contact from behind that required a change of the rear floor ahead of the second session.
With the Nielsen crew making the required repairs, Noble was again on the pace in the second practice session before Wells took over the car for qualifying.
With just 15 minutes to qualify, Wells recorded his best lap on his seventh and final lap of the session with a best of 2:05.073s, a time that put him third on the grid for the two-hour race. While the time was impressive, Wells believed there was more time still in the car and so it proved to be the case as the race got underway.
The start saw Wells maintain his third position before allowing two of the faster Silver graded drivers through for position by lap ten confident that the time could be clawed back as the race progressed. With the #65 Graff running into tyre trouble, Wells regained fourth position before pitting.
Noble was immediately on the pace, gaining a position in the pit stop sequence and then quickly closing down and passing the #14 entry. With eyes firmly on the race win, Noble set about closing the 20-second deficit to the race leading DKR Engineering Norma.
It was another impressive performance as Noble was able to more than halve the gap to the leader by the chequered flag and further underline the pace in the #79 Ligier package.
David ‘Sven’ Thompson, Team Manager Nielsen Racing
"It was a great team effort today and as usual the drivers put in a huge effort and didn’t put a wheel wrong the whole race. We closed the gap to the Norma and now we look forward to the next challenge at Spa."
“The pace was good; the car was really good. We were consistently the quickest car on the track as we closed the gap from over 20 seconds to nine. Tony is doing a good job, but unfortunately so is the other Bronze driver in the Norma. We’re closing the gap though and I’m confident we can get back on the top step of the podium at Spa.”
“We made some changes and I felt those immediately even going to the grid. I was a little frustrated after qualifying and thought I could have done better but realistically P2 would have been it. Then I made a good start and thought about going down the inside, but thought better of it. Then a couple of Silver (graded) guys came past and that was okay as I knew their Bronze drivers were slower. Then I could see the Graff car was struggling with rear tyres and he soon went off at Signes, so from there it was an easy run to give Colin a decent position.”
Eccurie Ecosse now begin preparations for the Henderson LMP3 Cup at Donington Park on 16-17 September before returning to the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Spa Francorchamps on 22-23 September.
But first, to top off our 60th Le Mans anniversary celebrations we will have one of the largest gatherings of pre-1966 cars at the Goodwood Revival in 10 days. Please visit the event website for more information.