Garry Findlay’s hopes of a strong result in round five of the European Le Mans Series were dashed before half-
Findlay returned to the Murphy line-
Qualifying was just as difficult, as a cracked piston in the #48’s Nissan engine cost the team valuable lap time, restricting it to tenth place on the grid when its earlier pace suggested a place several rows higher may have possible.
“It was always going to be tough jumping back into the car without any testing before the event, and having not driven at Spa since I raced in Formula Ford,” 26-
Having been thwarted in his bid to push the green-
Sadly, there was no such reprieve for the #48, which was ruled out of any further part in the race, denying both Doyle and Bonifacio, the Brazilian having been waiting in the pits to take over from Findlay at the end of the lap.
“We don’t know exactly what happened, but it felt like a tyre failure as there was nothing I could do,” Findlay noted, “I had been on the radio, asking the team to rethink the strategy, for several laps, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’d been running out of grip for some time prior to the accident but, prior to that, had been able to get as high as fourth, and was running comfortably in fifth place, hanging on to drivers with much fresher rubber, so things were looking good..”
While the Murphy team was unable to show what might have been, Findlay insisted that he was happy with his own personal performance, especially after a couple of months out of the cockpit between LMP2 outings.
“This was possibly the toughest grid of the season and, like the team, I felt like I was punching above my weight all weekend,” he claimed, “Once I’d recovered from the moment at the first corner – which was hard but fair and something I’d probably have done myself – I was able to hang in with a group of drivers with recent F1 experience in Giedo van der Garde, Will Stevens and Vitaly Petrov, all of whom were driving the latest generation of coupes where the open-
“The speed was definitely there, even on older tyres, so for the race to end as it did is a shame for the whole team. Everyone did a great job over the course of the weekend to get the car into a position to challenge as we did and I’m sure that the experience will be banked away for future races.”
Findlay’s programme for the rest of the season remains undecided, and the Briton is hoping to secure a deal to test over the winter with a view to securing a more significant campaign in 2017.
Dramatic exit denies Garry in Belgium