MECHANICAL PROBLEMS PREVENT PORTIMAO PODIUM FOR FIELDING
On his first visit to the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao Sennan Fielding once again showed his strong pace aboard the Ginetta G57 in round two of the VdeV Endurance Series.
After dominating testing and free practice Fielding prepared for qualifying and as dusk fell over the circuit, the dry-weather testing went out of the window as the heavens opened during the six hours between free practice two and the evening qualifying session. Factory Ginetta driver Mike Simpson - although hit with multiple penalties over track limits - put in fastest lap after fastest lap. Undeterred though, the Simpson Motorsport car in the hands of Fielding retaliated with each tour and the pair of them set up a fantastic fight in the closing 10 minutes. As Fielding took over provisional pole, Simpson put a set of new tyres onto the #57 machine and put in another flyer to retake the top spot. Fielding retaliated to go quicker still, but on the drying circuit, Simpson pushed on to post a 1:49.811s, claiming pole position relegating Fielding to 2nd, a fantastic achievement considering Fielding had never driven the Simpson Motorsport prepared Ginetta G57 in wet conditions.
Fieldings Team mate Jordan Sanders took the start of the 6 hour race and immediately took the lead from the #57 Ginetta and after 1 hour Fielding took over and continued the charge maintaining a fantastic pace, after two hours and forty minutes into the race, Thierry Cornac in #76 IMSA Performance Porsche went off-track and took a massive hit against the guard rails punching a substantial hole through the armco. The Porsche caught fire bringing out the safety car which circulated for over an hour whilst repairs to the safety barrier were carried out. On the restart, the #52 now driven by Sanders pulled away from the #22 Ligier into the lead unfortunately a mechanical failure on the front left of the car causing substantial damage to the suspension and body work forced him to pull off the circuit, unable to return to the pits, ruining any chance of what would have almost certainly been a podium result.
“I’m really disappointed with how things ended for us this weekend after showing how strong our pace was in practice and qualifying, after four hours we were leading and were looking strong for the win. Once again Ginetta gave us a fantastic car and the guys at Simpson Motorsport did a fantastic job all weekend. I have to say Jordan also did a fantastic job and proved that together we are a really strong pairing. It’s disappointing for everyone but it happens and we are already looking forward to the next round. “
The next round is at Paul Ricard on May 27/28