Ecurie Ecosse

79-3 (5)60-years on from a famous one-two result at Le Mans, Ecurie Ecosse returned to Circuit de la Sarthe this week to compete in the Road to Le Mans (15-17 June, 2017) with high expectations on the back of an ultra-successful Le Mans Cup and LMP3 Cup campaign.

Ultimately, while the team showed fantastic pace, it proved to be a frustrating campaign from the Nielsen-run squad with a 12th and 15th positions in the two events, the latter result whilst pushing hard for victory.

Colin Noble and Tony Wells partnered up once again – the same successful partnership that brought victory last month at Monza – and right from the off the #79 Ligier proved to be right on the pace, topping the very first free practice session.

Qualifying consisted of two 20 minute sessions, the first of which Noble qualified in a fine fourth position overall. Wells meanwhile endured a red-flag whilst on his fast lap in the second qualifying session and had to settle for sixth on the grid for the second race of the Road to Le Mans week. However, a slow zone infringement for Noble in practice resulted in a grid penalty for the first race, meaning that Wells lined up tenth for race one on Thursday afternoon.

With a late kick of Thursday evening, the race took a turn for the worst at the start with Wells sustaining damage to the floor on lap one after striking a high kerb and then a related radio malfunction also hindered in terms of tactics. Noble completed his stint moving from 14th to 12th in a damaged car, as the chequered flag flew with the silver lining being that he recorded the fourth fastest lap in a severely compromised car.

79-6 (5)The second Road to Le Mans race saw Wells again take the start, making a great getaway from sixth position. The close competition proved to be unforgiving with Wells being shuffled back a little in the order. A great stop from the Nielsen crew saw Noble make gains and as he put in the quick laps, he soon found himself in contention for not just a podium, but arguably the win.

A great pass from the Scottish driver into the first chicane moved him fourth in the closing stages, and soon after into third position with just eight minutes of the 55-minute race remaining. Entering the final lap, Noble was right on the tail of the second place #2 car but unfortunately, it was about to go wrong.

“I’m so gutted I gave it everything we were so fast,” said Noble. “I just clipped the kerb coming onto the back straight passing a GT3 car and it just tipped me into a spin. Naturally I’m bitterly disappointed.”

Noble and Wells were classified 15th overall in the second race and now turn their attention back to the next round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup which takes place next month at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Categories: News

Comments are closed.