We are delighted to report that our top tyres team racing ace Alex Kapadia enjoyed tremendous success at the opening race of the European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard yesterday.
Alex was racing for the first time with the newly-formed all-British team Curtis Racing Technologies and was thrilled that they triumphed in the LMPV class and came eight overall against all the odds.
Just four days earlier it was doubtful the team would even be able to take part in the race due to a late delivery of a new chassis and major adjustments being made to the car until the early hours of Sunday morning.
But Alex, who runs his own very successful tyres fitting branches and is also our joint operations manager, and the rest of the squad pulled together to take an emotional first victory, beating a host of established teams including several in the higher LMP2 category.
Alex told us straight after the race: “We were 8th overall which showed how good it was with us beating some of the cars in the class above. We’re all over the moon right now!”
Behind the wheel of the CRT’s prototype were endurance racing veteran John Hartshorne, proven LMPC pace-setter Phil Keen and Alex, a former Radical European Masters champion, who was already familiar with the FLM-09 having driven in the 6 hours of Estoril last year where he claimed pole position.
Keen started the race and showed excellent pace to pull out a lap lead in class during his double stint and handed over to Hartshorne in 9th position overall. Hartshorne then put in two very consistent stints to consolidate the class lead and preserve the car, eventually handing over to Alex in 10th position overall.
Alex then put in a series of quick times to bring the car back up to 8th position before handing back to Keen with forty minutes to go, taking the chequered flag ahead of their LMPC rival and eighth overall.
Team Manager Clare Sweeney said after the race: “We could not have wished for a better result from our debut.
“The team were really up against it on Friday and Saturday and pulled together to turn the car into the quickest LMPC on the grid. Then it was down the drivers.
“We knew Phil was quick and John would do a solid job, with Alex on board they make a very strong line up.”
We can’t wait for their next race – a bit closer to home this time at Donington Park – on 15th July.
Denna Bowman, Head Office