Electrical issues end Brundle's hopes of a repeat of Le Mans feat
PUBLISHED: 14:54 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:54 20 June 2018
Dominique BREUGNOT (ACO)
Alex Brundle was unable to repeat his feat of standing on the Le Mans 24 Hour podium, as he did last year, having posted an early retirement in his first LMP1 venture.
“Tough day,” admitted the King’s Lynn racer. “We suffered an electrical issue and couldn’t restart the car.”
Brundle started the event and used his experience to keep out of trouble, which kicked off at the opening corner, and ran in a credible sixth place until just before the one-hour mark when he had to crawl back to the pits for attention, having been struck down by electrical gremlins.
Brundle’s team-mate Oliver Rowland had posted the fastest time in the Ginetta G60-LT-P1, which was good enough to start the iconic race from ninth on the grid and with the local racer behind the wheel from the start, running in sixth place was encouraging.
After the early problem was rectified, the Brundle-led team rejoined the race in 24th place and worked their way up to 17th by the end of the second hour, improving to 15th after three hours of racing.
During the next five hours the team hovered around 20th place, but approaching the 10th hour the car stopped with Rowland on board.
“Sad news,” reported the team, who had sent out two mechanics to aid Rowland’s attempt to coax the engine back into life. “The #6 is a retirement, the car has stopped out at the second chicane on the Mulsanne chicane and won’t restart.”
Father Martin Brundle also suffered electrical issues in the Aston Martin Festival, a supporting event.
“I was hoping at 59 I wouldn’t care quite so much,” he said. “Makes me want to race again.”
Brundle Snr was sharing an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy with the pair starting from near the back of the grid. “We’ve had better days, but the speed is there,” said Brundle. “It’s going to be fun from 34th on the grid.”
Brundle started, finishing the opening lap in 27th place. He made another five places on lap two and by the fifth lap was up to 17th overall but after a problematic last lap the pair finished in 23rd place.
Brockdish racer Bonamy Grimes took victory in the GT4 category on his first visit to the French circuit.