Alex Brundle frustrated by gearbox problem at Nurburgring Six Hour
- Credit: Archant
It was a bitter sweet return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for Alex Brundle who dropped out of the lead in the LMP2 category with transmission troubles.
His return to the WEC could not have started better for Brundle, who along with team-mates Roman Rusinov and Rene Rast started the Nurburgring Six Hour race from the LMP2 pole position.
The local racer joined the Jota Sport run G Drive Racing LMP2 squad, fresh from three straight victories in the European Le Mans LMP3 Championship, which had previously taken all three series pole positions but had failed to turn them into victories.
'The team did a very good job and since the beginning we have done everything right,' said Rusinov in the post qualifying press conference. 'Rene did a fantastic job as usual, the car is good; we just need to transform our speed into the victory.'
Rast started the race and quickly built up a lead before handing over to Brundle who, once the pit stop cycle had been completed for all the LMP2's, began to increase the team's advantage.
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However, just as his first stint was coming to an end Brundle headed pit-ward with a gearbox issue which the team was unable to rectify.
A second Norfolk-born racer, Matt Howson, also returned to the series for the German race with the former LMP2 Le Mans race winner joining the ManorWEC team.
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Howson, from Norwich, joined Tor Graves and former Grand prix racer Antonio Pizzonia in the #44 car having first driven for the Manor team way back in 2001.
'It is really nice to be back with the team and I am really thankful to Graeme Lowdon and John Booth,' said Howson.
'I only got notified to be here a few days ago but I am ready to go. The team have shown already that they are bang on the pace and can challenge for podiums.'
Howson started the car from fifth place and approaching half distance the trio were holding third place but in the second half of the event they dropped back a couple of places.