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Le Mans Legend 2010

10-12 June 2010
Le Mans Legend 2010
13/06/2010 -

The race was organised as the third qualifying practice of the championship “2010 Group C Racing”, but it was officially run as the second one after postponing Portimao race because of logistic problems due to Eyjafjallajakul eruption: this race, which framed the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was certainly the most eagerly waited by the drivers and the fans of this category.

In the entry list, beyond the most well known and successful prototypes such as Jaguars XJR9 and XJR11, Mercedes C11, Porsche 962 and Nissan R90CK, there were also the private cars that were able to cut out their moments of glory, among them a great number of Spices.

The single qualifying envisaged session was raced on Thursday, in a real downpour, with only the usual top drivers engaged for a long time on track; at the end Pole was scored by Law the winner of the 2008 edition, at the wheel of a Jaguar XJR9, followed by Buncombe in the twin car, Pearson in XJR11, Nathan Kinch in Spice Chevrolet SP92 and Berrige with his very fast Mercedes C11 but, while the three first drivers’ times were held in only 5 seconds, Barrige suffered from a 20-second gap.

On Saturday morning the race, which had to be run in 40 minutes, started on a moist track with many unexpected stage events: while Lindberg was spinning right round still before passing the start-grid line, Berrige tried to get into the three Jaguars, and finished into the sand of Dunlop Chicane. The Mercedes managed to restart but with almost one lap’s delay from the first ones. Meantime, Pearson took the lead thanks to breathtaking acceleration just on Dunlop which allowed him to overtake other two Jaguars, that started fighting for the second place, followed by Hart, in Porsche 962 and Nathan Kinch. On Mulsanne corner Buncombe passed Law, trying to immediately force so as to make up over Pearson but on Maison Blanche was betrayed by the asphalt still moist which made him finish against the barrier, throwing the three drivers behind him into confusion. It was Law who paid for it and he soon found himself to be the fourth with a rate forcing him to lose any contact with the first drivers.

Meanwhile, Nathan Kinch looked like a lightning and on Hunadieres fought a fierce duel by overtaking Pearson many times; the duel ended at his advantage on entering Michelin chicane: for the Spice driver who ended the lap having five seconds’ lead over the Jaguar, joy lasted up to Indianapolis corner, when a tyre explosion forced him to park his car in the escape way. Only two were left to fight for the leadership, Hart pushed himself forward Pearson, but he didn’t seem to move in to an attack before having studied the rival: in a race moment, scarcely exciting, Berrige showed his spectators the power of his Mercedes C11 setting an extraordinary 3:44:249 time before suffering from two punctures which left him out from the fight for top positions.

On lap 6 finally Hart passed Pearson on Ford chicane, but not managing to pass forward he was obliged to take some risk during the double lapping: if the first two attempts were successful, the third one forced him to retire, with the Spice of Bateman that ran into his car making its suspension out of use, that’s it by now, and here came Pearson, who had also to slow his rate owing to his car tyres out of use, leaving the win to an incredulous Law, and the second position to Evans, at the wheel of a Nissan R88C, being satisfied with the podium third step.

article by Marco Zanello
Photo Giacomo Zanello

Vai Alla Gallery  Photogallery " Le Mans Legend - Gr. C - 2010

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