Home News Profile

Garry Findlay’s hopes of a second successive top five finish with the Graff Racing team were dashed within an hour of the start of round four of the 2015 VdeV sportscar series.

Having claimed fourth place on debut with the French outfit following a change of teams for round three in Spain, Findlay headed to Dijon with hopes of a podium return, and appeared on course for just that – and maybe even a first VdeV victory – when he was sidelined by a faulty fuel pump on the #91 Ligier JS53 Evo.

A pre-race test at Magny-Cours had given the Briton a chance to get extra laps in the still unfamiliar Ligier, and also provided a solution to the gearshift problem that had hampered the team’s progress at Motorland Aragon, but the Dijon-Prenois circuit provided a very different challenge to Graff’s local venue, and the #91 struggled with understeer throughout official practice. Although Findlay was able to keep the car in the top six, its true potential remained unclear heading into qualifying.

“Having run with full tanks in first practice and then used the other two to try and cure the understeer issue, we didn’t really knew where we stood, but things were looking good until I came across one of the CD Sport cars a couple of corners from home on my flying lap,” the 26-year old explained, “The onboard video showed that I lost around a second and that would have made a massive difference on a short lap like this. Although we came out fifth when the times were averaged out, it could have been a lot better….”

Despite his frustration at having to start from row three on a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult, the former FFord and F3 ace wasted little time in making progress through the field, quickly moving up to third place and enjoying a battle for second before being able to assume the position and begin chasing down Graff team-mate Yann Clairay.

Before the battle could get interesting, however, Findlay began to suffer the effects of fuel surge, with the #91 cutting in and out in third and fourth gear. Although the team advised him to carry on as best he could, the problem gradually got worse, allowing chasing drivers the opportunity to re-pass the Briton before he finally pitted.

“We could have won!” Findlay grimaced later, “I definitely had the pace to get to the front and my co-driver was no slouch around this circuit, so we had a good feeling for the race. Unfortunately, the fuel pump gave up the ghost and that was that – it takes anything up to two hours to replace the pump, so the race was as good as over even though I still had anything up to an hour-and-a-half of my stint to go.”

With two months between races and the 12 Hours of Paul Ricard next on the agenda, the Graff team has taken the precaution of fitting a secondary fuel pump to the patriotically-liveried #91 for future races, but Dijon was, once again, a case of ‘what might have been’ for Findlay.

“Bad luck seems to be following me at the moment, but we hope to put that right at Ricard,” he smiled, “In fairness, reliability has been good with the Graff car and that will be very important in a twelve-hour race. Ligier also wants the car to show well, so I’m sure they’ll be making sure that it is as good as it can be ahead of the next race, and we’ll have three drivers wanting a good result, so we’re only looking ahead.”

Round five of the 2015 VdeV Series takes place over twelve hours at Paul Ricard in southern France over the weekend of 28-30 August.

Fuel pump fails Garry in France