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Le Mans Series Spa 1000 Kilometres 2007

17th - 19th August 2007

Event report

Introduction - entry and support races

In the middle of August the Le Mans Series championship found its way to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for its fourth 1000 kilometers race of the 2007 season. The Spa is a regular event since the inception of the series, whose rules are strictly based on the ACO Le Mans 24 Hours rule set. Unlike past seasons, when the Spa race was held in spring, this year the date was set to a summer time. This year's entry list is fantastic, majority of the field have taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours itself, and the numbers often touch five tens of prototypes and Grand Touring cars. Original entry list for the Spa race consisted of 54 cars plus one late entry of JetAlliance Aston Martin but in the end 'only' fifty cars appeared in the paddock. Among the non-arrivals there was an unique entry of GT1 Porsche 996. This last-minute withdrawal could bring another piece of variety to the already well established makes in the class: Saleen, Chevrolet and Aston Martin. Late withdrawal was also Japanese Dome LMP2, which was a sad situation for the manufacturer as its main representative in the championship, Lammers's Racing For Holland, was never intended to race here due to his commitments in Netherlands. Other withdrawals includes the Lola-Audi of Swiss Spirit and the Del Bello Courage, in both cases we are already worrying about any further participations in the championship as they seem to have vanished after the Le Mans despite being entered for the whole season. Porsche number 92 did not appear too cutting down the 55 car entry down to the 50 cars on track.

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The meeting was filled by interesting support races. The most interesting among them was one hour Enduro, which was part of Classic Endurance Racing. The large field of about fifty cars covered World Championship sports cars from the period starting in the middle of 1960s and ending with the 1979 season, which allowed spectators to see several BMW M1s, Porsche 935 K3 from 1979 and many many classic prototypes like Chevrons, Lolas, Porsche 908/3, Inaltera LM from 1976 (in fact the first predecessor of Group C cars), Group 4 sports cars (Lola T70s, Ford GT40 and some smaller capacity Porsches and Chevrons), a large field of Grand Touring cars (mainly 911s of various speciifications, Ferrari 275 GTB, De Tomaso Panteras and Corvettes) and a few more (for example Touring Capri and Escort, which also played some role in the World Championship of makes during the seventies).

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The race itself was interesting enough. There were two quick Group 6 three-litres, the Porsche 908/3 from 1975 and the Lola T286 from 1976 with a Thundersports history (chassis HU10), which fought for the lead, but they were well supported by couple of two-litre Chevrons and a lone Osella. While the Lola led just after the start, the Porsche led throughout the first half of the race, after the pitstops the Osella gained some time in the pits and almost took the lead. But a lap later the Lola, which was now fastest car on the track, overtook both Porsche and Osella and won the race rather comfortably. The Porsche Turbo took the second spot while the Osella was overtaken by the remaining Chevron while the other quick Chevron was one of many retirements. So the three litre prototypes dominated the race, shame that the only other car of the class, the Inaltera was never seen running well and after a few very slow laps during practice sessions did not start at all. Mirage M6 of the same category was only on the entry list. Group 4 sixties Sports Cars was dominated by two-litre Chevrons after the fastest Lola T70 was delayed in the pits and Porsche 917 was a non-arrival. Among classic GT cars, the newer BMW M1 easily won over the Porsche 911 armada and inrealiable and slow Panteras and Corvettes while one of Alpines, the type 220, was fastest among the cars built in sixties and finished sixth overall, which was a good result for the car. We did not mention the drivers, they were usually unknown outside of the CER circles but some names known in sports car realm could have been found on the entry list, for example: Sigi Brunn, John Sheldon, Jean-Claude Andruet, Martin Birrane, Mauro Borella, Alain Gadal or John Starkey.

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Other support races included single-make cup two-race events for Radicals, Peugeot Spiders and the Porsche Carrera Cup France. The fastest of all classes but LMS factory Peugeots were however Formula Renaults, which had one of its rounds on the programme during this weekend.

It is also worth to mention some strange steps related to the safety. Annoying fences are all around the track, even in places where there is no danger coming from the racing cars, however there are people who, in order to make good photos, stand on a ladder and make photos in various, we would say, sometimes dangerous positions. Responsible persons should think whether to put the stupid fences everywhere around the track is really in the name of safety or in the name of bothering spectators and risking their healthy (see the photo below).

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Friday - 17th August

Practice sessions

Both Friday's practice sessions showed potential of all cars and especially that the Peugeots are still well ahead of the rest of the field. Charouz Lola was usually third fastest followed by mix of Pescarolos, Courages and the Zytek while the Creation seemed to be slightly off the pace, though still very quick. While in the first session the two Peugeots and the Charouz Lola were within one second, during the second session the Peugeots were almost four seconds quicker than the rest. One car missed the first session, the Chamberlain Lola due to a fuel leak, while another two prototypes appeared to be in troubles: Lavaggi, which did only a few laps, usually slow so its time at 2:11s was rather surprising, and the Lucchini, which the only prototype running at GT2 cars pace. Porsche of James Watt was in trouble too after completing only a single full lap during the first session. For the second session all cars seemed in a good mood, just the Lucchini completed only four laps, while the rest did between 10 and 25 laps.

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Saturday - 18th August

Final practice session

The third session continued where the Friday's sessions ended. The gap between Peugeots and the petrol cars increased once again. This time it was Courage no.12 that set the fastest time of 'the rest' and thus became the only petrol fuelled car to beat the Charouz Lola, which was now fourth, in any of the sessions but warm up including the fastest laps in the race. While Peugeots were in 2:01s and 2:02s respectively with one second gap between them, there were no less than five prototypes within a second.

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Qualifying session

In qualifying the team Peugeot tried to run under two minute limit to break the Group C record from 1990, when only one Mercedes C11 managed to run under the limit. Even though the track in 2007 and in 1990 is not quite comparable, it was still interested to follow this effort. In the end Minassian in the number 7 did several laps slightly over 2:00 but the Group C record was left unbeaten. Car number 8, which was fastest in the two Friday's sessions, was half second slower, while the next five prototypes set times within the 2:04 range, still almost two seconds per lap quicker than any LMP1 car running here in the past (but on the old track with the original Bus Chicane).

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The LMP2 pole went to the RML MG Lola driven by Erdos, who was only tenth overall, ahead of Barazi Zytek, Embassy Radical and ASM Lola. Randaccio's Lucchini became the only prototype apart from the missing Lavaggi that appeared well down the order among the slowest GT1 cars. This class was dominated, as usually, by the Oreca Saleen, the team, which is heading to LMP1 in the future seasons. In GT2 it was the Proton Porsche with Marc Lieb that set the class pole full half second ahead of Virgo Ferrari and sixteen other cars. The missing one was the Chad Peninsula Panoz after being damaged in the previous session and now dismantled in the garage with engine problems.

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Sunday - 19th August

Warm Up

Twenty minute warm up saw the two Peugeots fastest again, though not with a huge margin as usually, ahead of Arena Zytek or Courage no.13, which were the only 'big' prototypes lapping faster than the MG Lola. That was apparently not much important at all, more noteably the repaired Lavaggi failed to complete a single full lap and set a time while the Horag Lola ran slowly and did not set a time either. The Saulnier Courage was another prototype facing problems and along with the Lavaggi it did not appear in the results sheets at all after retiring in its first lap out.

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The Race

The race was started slightly after the 12:30 hour mark and it did not take long to wait for the dramas. Already in the first corner just after the start, Cochet in the factory Courage number 12 started to brake too late and the fastest petrol fuelled car became a victim while the Peugeots were already gone. Mücke in the Charouz Lola was hit very heavily by the Courage so that whole rear of the car was in the air and the car faced a broken rear suspension and flat tyres. Mücke then slowly moved it to the pits where the car was being repaired for more than 30 minutes. Having re-appeared on track with nearly 20 laps later, it became the quickest car on the track in the late stages of the race. The team could have been at least second overall.

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The Courage with Cochet went to the pits for the repairs too, reappeared much earlier than the Charouz Lola but after several laps a huge smoke surrounded the car following broken suspension. The Courage then became the first car out of the race, at least by a distance because in fact it reappeared on the track for a while at the two hour mark but did not cover more laps than its sister Courage number 13, which was the first official retirement and the only one before the one hour mark. By that time the Lavaggi had not even left the garage and the Charouz Lola was still being repaired after the first lap damage. Meanwhile the Peugeots were soon far away from the rest. Lamy in the number 7 was leading Gene in the sister car until Lamy was slowed down a little while lapping one of the slower Ferraris at Eau Rouge. Gene took an advantage of the situation and moved ahead. Since then the car number 8 never lost the lead while the number 7 will have struggled soon. Wheel bearing was the reason that number 7 was delayed in the pits during the first hour and been retired from the race completely a little later.

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The Pescarolo number 16 driven by Boullion ran third from the beginning and moved to second after one of the Peugeots suffered the wheel bearings problems. Johansson in the Arena Zytek ran well and circulated on the fourth spot while he lost control on an oil leak from the Racing Box Saleen. The damage appeared to be too big to be repaired during the race and the car was retired. After the second Courage, the number 13 driven by Gounon, went into troubles it left out just three Pescarolos running behind the Peugeot with Creation lapping with some distance behind them. Chamberlain Lola was slow this time running among the better part of LMP2 field, the Courages were out, the Charouz Lola was delayed too much, so there were in fact no other LMP1 cars to take on the French cars.

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More dramas followed in the second half of the race when four safety car periods filled the programme. Of the Pescarolos, the private car had problems and fell down the order even behind the Chamberlain Lola. The factory car number 17 driven by Primat and Tinseau was slightly delayed too, moreover two of the safety car periods did not play well for them, so in the end the LMP2 winner, the MG Lola of team RML, finished ahead of them. Leading Peugeot driven by Lamy and Sarrazin faced the wheel bearing problems in the last third of the race too but the car was not retired but rather circulated the track in a pace slower than the Chamberlain Lola and won with a two lap lead over Collard/Boillion in the Pescarolo number 16 and another two laps over the MG Lola. The second position in LMP2 went to ASM Lola and the LMP2 podium was completed by another Lola-built car, the Horag Lista team car driven by Lienhard/Theys/van de Poele. They were classified seventh overall behind the best of the Grand Touring cars. It was, as might be expected, the Oreca Saleen driven by Ortelli and Ayari winning the GT1 category ahead of Larbre Aston Martin with Bouchut/Gardel/Gollin at the wheel and the faster of Luc Alphand Chevrolet Corvettes. The GT2 class went to the Porsche of Lieb and Pompidou ahead a pair of Ferraris.

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Car by car report:

LMP1:

3 - Lavaggi

It was the prototype suffering most problems. It left the pits in an attempt to enter the grid but the car was not sorted well after the problem in the warm up session. But the team worked on the car and as a result of it, the Lavaggi made it to the track just before one of the safety car periods during the third hour. After the green flag the car ran surprisingly quickly. After the second safety car period the Lavaggi ran as quick as the Creation, between the third and fourth safety car period it was even quicker and overtook it. And the Le Mans LMP2 winning Lola of Binnie was an easy task for the Lavaggi at all. The Lavaggi stayed on the track for several hours showing some great promises (per the team's standard) but unfortunately it finally disappeared during the final safety car period.



7 - Peugeot

This was probably the quicker of the Peugeots, at least considering it took the pole position, set fastest time of the weekend and led in the early stages of the race. It was one of lapped Ferrari that slowed down this car driven by Lamy, which meant losing one position. After some 35 minutes into the race, the car lost some time and, while still being second, their colleagues in the car number 8 led quite safely by that time. Before the first hour mark a longer pitstop in an atempt to fix wheel bearing problem was needed. But it did not help and the car was retired 80 minutes after the start.



8 - Peugeot

The car was the quickest in both Friday's sessions but started from the second position, which it held also during the early minutes following their team-mates in the car number 7. That one was delayed while overtaking one of slower Ferraris at Eau Rouge while Gene in the number 8 could leave Eau Rouge in a full speed and easily overtake the leader. After that the car led until the finish despite having wheel bearing troubles and running even slower than the Chamberlain Lola after the final safety car period.



9 - Creation

While the car was slightly out of pace of Courages, the Zytek, the Charouz Lola or Pescarolos in practice sessions, during the race it ran pretty well. After twenty minutes in the race it ran third among petroll fuelled cars just behind the best Pescarolo and the Courage number 13. It was even classified third overall after the first and the second hour, though as we believe it was more a matter of pitstop timing, the performance and reliability of the car was amazing. Later in the middle of the race it ran safely fifth behind remaining Peugeot and the three existing LMP1 Pescarolos. However three punctures and a spin of Felipe Ortiz meant a big delay and thus the Creation was classified at the second half of the field at the end of the race.



10 - Arena Zytek

Well driven car and probably the most beautiful one in the field (along with its sister Gulf sponsored LMP2 version) was also a victim of the first corner accident caused by Cochet. Despite slightly damaged and delayed it continued and improved very well and soon ran behind the Creation. After a half hour and a few minutes it overtook the Creation. The chances of another good result for the team was however gone after it went off the track into the bariers following an oil slick caused by dying engine of the Racing Box Saleen.



12 - Courage

Best result of the car was the third practice session when it was classified just behind the two Peugeots. But in the race it soon became famous for its stupid first lap accident. Cochet was too quick and unfortunately we lost several quick non-Pescarolo LMP1 cars. Despite it originally seemed not to be damaged too much, it disappeared after a few laps, then appeared here and there on track but the result was 4 laps in the first hour, 3 laps in the second hour and finally 8 quick laps in the third hour. Despite being seen at the track until nearly half of the race, it was the car that completed the shortest distance of all fifty present cars.



13 - Courage

Originally ran rather well, just like in the last race, at the pace of fastest Pescarolo in the fourth position. But it did not take too long and the car had to be retired with a clutch problem. In fact it was the only participant retiring in the first hour.



15 - Charouz Lola

The car with Mücke at the wheel was simply the best of the rest (but Peugeots), winning petrol-fuelled/non-factory class in all sessions but one and the warm up, and setting fastest lap among non-factory entries in the race. However in the first corner (La Source) of the first lap of the race Mücke was hit heavily by Cochet in Courage no.12 and with broken suspension and flat rear tyres he must have been happy to reach the pits even if rather slowly. When the car was repaired, it reappeared on the track with a black rear cover and delay almost 20 laps. The pair Mücke/Charouz, Jr. then circulated very well and managed to gain two points for the championship after finishing seventh in class though way back in the GT2 field. Having not been delayed by the stupid unavoidable accident, they must have been at least second, or even the first, as Charouz suggested, because in the final two hours the leading Peugeot suffered wheel bearing problems, ran slower and the Charouz Lola was simply the quickest car on the track. Shame that the team has so much bad luck in its first season, they could have been easily the second in the championship standings overall.



16 - Pescarolo

After the first lap accident the Pescarolo easily took the third spot behind the Peugeots. After one of them was delayed and then retired, the Pescarolo ran second throughout the whole race and in the finish it was classified two laps behind the winner. The car is currently second in the LMP1 championship.



17 - Pescarolo

This factory Pescarolo entry run usually closer to the private Rollcentre car rather then fighting for a position with its sister car number 16. Initially it was seen only seventh behind the Creation and Zytek. It improved to about fifth after remaining quick Courage and the Peugeot number 7 were gone but in fact it was in a battle for third with the Rollcentre Pescarolo and the Creation. When the two named cars came into troubles in the second half of the race, this Pescarolo ran third for several hours but some late oil leak problem and a bit unluck during two safety car periods forced the car to lose one position in favour of LMP2 winner, the MG Lola.



18 - Rollcentre Pescarolo

At beginning the Rollcentre Pescarolo ran just behind the second factory Pescarolo number 17 and after one and half hour into the race, this private effort moved ahead after the no.17 was slightly delayed while overtaking a backmarker. It was classified fourth after two hours (the Creation was third) but problems with starter arose soon after and completely ruined any chances for a good result. An hour later it was only 20th and despite some good drive in the second part of the race, it was enough only for the twelfth spot in the finish.



19 - Chamberlain Lola

The Chamberlain Lola was really not the fastest LMP1 car on the track, actually it ran behind the top three LMP2 cars already at the beginning of the race. Then it kept eleventh spot for a couple of hours but late problems when we saw the car running original 2006 nose instead of the usual new 2007 one, it was classified 15th overall but still fifth in the class. A good record of the car is that has finished in almost every race it started but two. We would need more private efforts like this in LMP1, even more in time of the dominance like the Peugeots shows this year.



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LMP2:

20 - Bruneau Pilbeam

Running originally 18th behind the Kruse Pescarolo and just ahead of the GT1 leading Oreca Saleen it went into troubles very soon. It disappeared from the track after 30 minutes just after being catched by the delayed Zytek number 32. It was then seen on the track here and there before being finally retired just before the two hour mark.



21 - Bruichladdich Radical

Originally running fourth in class and twelfth overall, then improved to the third in class and eighth overall after two hours. Unfortunately it was retired due to engine problems after three hours and a quarter.



25 - RML MG Lola

It was the fastest LMP2 car, started from the pole and then led the class throughout the entire race. Newton/Erdos rather fought for the overall honours. At the beginning of the race they ran ninth but after most of the LMP1 car suffered various problems and retirements, this MG Lola team could celebrate overall podium finishing just behind the winning Peugeot and the leading Pescarolo. The only problem recorded by this entry was when Newton had a colision with the Modena Aston Martin, which damaged the car on the left side.



26 - SCI Lucchini

The Lucchini of sports car veteran Ranieri Randaccion was a very welcome addition to the regular entries in the series but it was really out of pace. Apart from the qualifying sessions it hardly ever ran at least at the pace of the best GT2 car, moreover it experienced a lot of troubles during the race and the whole weekend at all. A positive moment was not only to see this unique car, which was in fact the very first car ever built to the current rules back in 2004, in the Le Mans Series again but also it circulated at the end of the race. Unfortunately, it spent so much time in the pits that the distance it covered was not sufficient in order to be classified.



27 - Horag Lola

The winners of the first race of the LMS season started the race fifth in class, kept themselves in the top 10 overall since the second hour and made it to the class podium at the end of the race.



31 - Binnie Lola

Buncombe ran originally fourth in class but moved up to second at the end of the second hour. Unfortunately for the team, after that they suffered an electrical problem and were forced to lose five minutes to fix it, which dropped then down to sixth. Timpany then managed to improve to fourth in class when the LMP2 Courage crossed the Lola's nose, as a result of which the front suspention was damaged. After the repaire, the team finished in nice fifth place.



32 - Barazi-Epsilon Zytek

The car spun in the second lap at La Source after slight contact with the Chamberlain Lola driven by Berridge and became one of the very early delayed cars. It was not damaged so much so the chasing drive could start. Barazi was already 20th after a quarter of an hour having just recovered through the GT1 field but the leading Saleen. Unfortunately the car was delayed further before the first hour mark (still 20th but further three GT1 cars ahead). A big improvement came in the next two hours, to the 14th and then 8th position, which was also fourth in class behind three Lola built cars (numbers 25, 40 and 27). The Horag Lola was taken over in the next hour but some delays meant that the Oreca Saleen appeared once again ahead of this Zytek, which was now running seventh overall. That changed during the fifth hour when the Barazi Zytek moved to sixth overall still behind the MG Lola number 24 and the ASM Lola number 40. However the race was over for the car when Vergers in the Zytek collided with Burgueno in the ASM Lola half hour before the end while in the battle for the second spot. So in the end both beatiful Zyteks were eliminated in accidents. The hope is the gain a good results in the races to come.



35 - Saulnier Courage

The only Courage in LMP2 ran seventh in class and sixteenth overall just ahead of the Kruse Pescarolo and the Bruneau Pilbeam in the early stages of the race. While other teams suffered various problems or accidents this Courage with relatively unknown squad at the wheel, Nicolet, Filho and Jouanny progressed throughout the race hour by hour and could celebrate to be the best non-Lola based outfit in LMP2 in the finish gaining fourth in class and eleventh overall.



40 - Quifel-ASM Lola

This ex-Chamberlain car suffered a puncture while running second in class during the second hour and was dropped down to fourth in LMP2 class. However after a good running since then the team kept fifth overall and second in class for several hours. It might have changed when the Barazi Zytek came from behind but it was the Lola who profited of the situation. Both cars had a collision but while the Zytek was out of the race with broken suspension, the ASM Lola could safely finish second in LMP2 and fifth overall, which was the best result of the season.



44 - Kruse Pescarolo

One of the slower LMP2 entries had not a good day either. At the early stages of the race Siedler kept just the Pilbeam behind (plus the very slow Lucchini, of course) but then it was several times delayed by spins and smaller accidents before it suffered a big collision with Chad Panoz, which became a reason for the second safety car period and also forced the only Pescarolo retirement in the race. At the moment it retired, it had been classified the very last of all running cars apart from the Lavaggi that appeared on the track not earlier than during the second hour of the race.



45 - Embassy Zytek

It ran second in the LMP2 class for some time but went off the track in the gravel while in the battle with the Binnie Lola. It was delayed further after 100 minutes in the race with a very long pitstop and was dropped down the end of the field including the slow GT2 cars. The car then continued until the end but it appeared even behind the very delayed Charouz Lola during the third hour and finally was classified last, 30th, after overtaking the non-classified Lucchini of Ranieri Randaccio.



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GT1:

50 - Larbre Aston Martin

The car started from sixth in class driven by Bouchut, ran very well in the early stages of the race and after overtaking JetAlliance and Modena Aston Martins, Luc Alphand Corvette C6 and Racing Box Saleen, it appeared in the second position in GT1 at the end of lap 5. While closing the gap between himself and the leading Oreca Saleen Bouchut was called to the pits for the stop and go penalty. After that the additional drivers Gardel and Gollin did their job well and maintained the second position in class until the end of the race. Eighth place overall was also very nice considering the fact how big the competition in the prototype classes currently is. In the GT1 championship the crew is now third just two points behind the leading Oreca.



51 - Larbre Aston Martin

The second Larbre car driven by Fisken, Zacchia and Franchi was not considered to be a potential winner of the class but it fairly backed up team's outfit for the most part of the race while running fourth. It looked to be the best finish of the season for the car before an alternator broke and the car was dropped down to sixth in the finish. Nevertheless it was fine for the team to have both cars running at the end of the race.



55 - Oreca Saleen

The French car with Ortelli and Ayari seemed to be absolutely dominant in the class. They took the third class win in a row after leading from the start to the finish. Maybe, even bigger success was the sixth position overall, which the team secured in the fourth hour, then loosing it for a while when the quicker Zytek LMP2 moved ahead from behind but gaining it back after the Zytek crashed. It is by far the best result for a GT car this season and quite opposite to the 16th place at the Nürburgring, the previous race, where prototypes took the first fifteen spots. The car is now leading the championship but because of retiring in the first race and because of the point system favours regular results rather than the win (the system that was set up in Formula 1 to eliminate Michael Schumacher's domination and then used throughout all major European based series) there are two other cars within a range of two points, so the championship in the class is still wide open despite the Oreca Saleen won all races but the first one.



59 - Modena Aston Martin

The car lost some time just at the beginning of the race after Garcia span it. Later Fittipaldi suffered slight damage after his collision with Newton in MG Lola. At the end the squad was classified fourth in class, which might have not been the best result for the championship, but being tenth overall was still quite nice.



61 - Racing Box Saleen

The second Saleen in the race ran fourth in GT1 behind the Oreca Saleen, Larbre Aston Martin and Alphand Corvette C6 but was forced to retire early in the second hour after the engine went off. Unfortunately an oil leak that the car left on the track was a reason of another retirement, the Arena Zytek, which one of a few competititve cars remaining in the race in the LMP1 petrol fuelled class apart from the Pescarolos.



65 - JetAlliance Aston Martin

The FIA GT regular was making its guest appearance in the LMS and the squad led by Karl Wendlinger ran decently throughout the race and despite they had never been contenders for the overall class honours, it was very good to see them here and the fifth place in the finish among GT1 was not bad either.



72 - Alphand Corvette

The situation in GT1 seems to be rather clear from the start to the finish. Oreca Saleen way ahead the rest, followed by the Larbre Aston Martin and this Corvette, which was the new spec. car in the Luc Aphand team. This order was created during the first five laps of the race and was more or less never changed till the end of the race. The cars just improved their overall standings as the prototypes hit troubles and accidents. In the end this Corvette was classified on the solid ninth position.



73 - Alphand Corvette

The car had a collision in the first corner of the race. Despite running for some longer time and moving up the order, mainly through the GT2 field, it was finally retired with rear suspension problems following that collision.



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GT2:

76 - IMSA Porsche

After running fourth after the start the car maintained the third spot behind the Virgo Ferrari and the best of Felbermayr-Proton Porsches for several hours before it was crashed heavily while driven by Raymond Narac. The accident, caused probably by a contact with the Creation, meant an immediate retirement and also the third safety car period. It was the most crashed car of the weekend.



77 - Felbermayr-Proton Porsche

The Porsche had a good battle for the class win with the Virgo Ferrari throughout the race. The decision came in the final stages of the race when it started to rain a bit heavily and more than half of the field went to pits for a tyre change. Ferrari was among them while this Porsche, along with the remaining Peugeot and the Charouz Lola for example, was not and it appeared to be a good decision and the Porsche won another race.



78 - Villorba Ferrari

The squad led by Caffi run at the end of the first half of the GT2 field throughout the race and in the end it was classified fifth in class.



79 - Felbermayr-Proton Porsche

This was the second slowest car just ahead of the privately built GT2 Corvette. Unlike the Corvette this car finished the race, surviving some incidents (collision with the Horag Lola) and was classified 29th as the last GT car in the finish (two delayed prototypes finished behind).



80 - ProSpeed Porsche

This was cctually a team that was making its debut in the LMS series after taking part in a couple of FIA GT races this year. Drivers originally had problems to get used to driving among much faster prototypes at the same track but soon they managed to lap consistently and the prototypes were no more a problem for them. The drivers were really happy with the Le Mans Series race and they think it is the series they would like to be in 2008. The car circulated around the track until the end of the race, maybe a little bad luck was that they were classified ninth, i.e. just one place behind the points. They are not going to race LMS this year again, however the Petit Le Mans and FIA GT Zolder races are planned at the moment.



81 - LNT Panoz

The car was capable of running some twelfth or thirteenth position at the beginning of the race at the pace of its sister car no.82 and the ProSpeed Porsche. Retired in the middle of the race.



82 - LNT Panoz

Tomlinson and Dean ran very similarly as their team-mates in the car number 81. Both car retired in within four minutes and both cars covered exactly 58 laps. This one however needed about three minutes shorter time to complete them.



83 - GPC Ferrari

Running in the top six at the beginning, it was slightly delayed in the second hour but recovered back to sixth. Unfortunately for the team, the car retired half hour before the end.



84 - Chad Panoz

After having problems in practice and missing qualifying it ran behind both LNT Panozes but was the Panoz whose effort lasted for the longest time. It suffered a serious damage after a collision with the Kruse Pescarolo and the Bruichladdich Radical and was retired half hour after the two LNT cars had been already out.



85 - Spyker

It looked to be a very good weekend for the team that suffered fire in the last LMS race at the Nürburgring and that did not finish a single race this season. Janiš and Kox were sixth after the first hour in the field of nineteen cars. One hour before the end of the race the car was running well excellent fourth in class driven by Janiš when the left rear tyre blown while running through the Eau Rouge and all chances for a good finish were lost within a second. Janiš spun and hit the wall very heavily. He was sent to the hospital and while the first checking looked well, now it was confirmed that the driver had suffered some spine injuries and has to have a break at least month or two in order to be cured and able to race again.



88 - Felbermayr-Proton Porsche

The second quickest of the three Proton Porsches ran reliably during the race and despite it belonged to slower cars, i.e. running behind Panozes and the factory Spyker, it managed finished well seventh in class, which was not a bad result for this car, we believe.



89 - Markland Corvette

Slowest but also quite unique car in the GT2 field. It kept the class variety booming for about 70 minutes before it was retired with a broken drive shaft.



90 - Farnbacher Porsche

One of the quicker Porsches started the race variously in the sixth and fifth positions to keep the fourth place in the class at the end of the race.



94 - Speedy Spyker

The car run in the middle of the GT2 field, usually not far behind the factory Spyker and in the end it was the only non-Porsche, non-Ferrari GT2 car in the finish. Moreover eighth position meant one point for the team, which was a little satisfaction even for the factory after their own car retired from fourth in class.



95 - Watt Porsche

Running eighth after twenty minutes in the race, it stayed on the track till the end of the race but with no great result. Just the slow Felbermayr-Proton car was behind it at the end of the race (plus couple of delayed prototypes).



96 - Virgo Ferrari

It was actually the factest Ferrari on the track. During the whole race it was in fight for the class lead with the best Felbermayr-Proton Porsche. It was in the lead after 2, 3 and 4 hours but in the finish the Porsche was the winner after having better strategy during the rainy periods. The difference was less than a single lap.



97 - GPC Ferrari

After overcoming handling problems in practices, the team managed to get competitive for the race and after a modest start Bonetti, De Simone and Hernandez finished on the GT2 podium just behind the two dominant cars in the class.



98 - Ice Pol Ferrari

Mid-runner of the GT2 class improved from eleventh at the beginning to the fifth at the end. They improved each hour being only passed by the second Larbre Aston Martin in the final stages of the race.



99 - JMB Ferrari

JMB team seems to have forgotten about their dominance in ISRS-like races and now prefers to run cars with paying slow drivers. Basso and McCormick did not shine having been by far the slowest Ferrari drivers in each of the sessions. In the race it was not much better, just the third Proton Porsche ran behind (and the GT2 Corvette while still being circulating) and it was joined by a few severely delayed cars. At least it made it to the finish but far from the points.



Le Mans Series Spa 1000 Kilometres 2007 (event report) - picture number 045Le Mans Series Spa 1000 Kilometres 2007 (event report) - picture number 046Le Mans Series Spa 1000 Kilometres 2007 (event report) - picture number 047Le Mans Series Spa 1000 Kilometres 2007 (event report) - picture number 048

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