Young Driver AMR: Third in GT1-class at Le Mans

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Young Driver GT1 LeMans
Successful Le Mans-debut for Young Driver AMR.

Young Driver AMR had a successful debut at the 24h of Le Mans. In the first start of the new team at the French endurance classic, Christoffer Nygaard (DK), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Peter Kox (NL) brought the Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9 home in third place in the GT1-class in front of 238.150 spectators. In total, the three Young Driver AMR-drivers raced 4238 km (311 laps) on the epic track in Le Mans in 24 hours, a combination of public roads and permanent racetrack.

In their first 24h of Le Mans, the Young Driver AMR team got to know all facets of a 24h race. Right at the beginning of the race, starting driver Peter Kox took the lead in GT1-class from the pole, and lead the first hour of the race. During the first three hours, Nygaard, Enge and Kox fought for the class lead from second position, then suddenly a broken drive shaft brought the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin to a halt. The repair took sixty minutes and the Aston Martin dropped down the order to sixth position.

From the back of the pack, the Young Driver AMR-squad fought back during the evening and the night. With a trouble free car and constant lap times, Nygaard, Enge and Kox reclaimed second place Sunday morning after 18 hours of racing. The trouble free run continued until Sunday at noon, but with only 90 Minutes to go, Le Mans showed his cruel face. Another drive shaft broke, just 15 minutes after „Young Driver“ Christoffer Nygaard took the car for the final stint of the race. The Young Driver team had to replace the driveshaft for second time, Nygaard went out on the track after the repair with 15 minutes to go, and crossed the chequered flag at 15:00 o’clock just behind the overall winning Audi-prototype . Nygaard, Enge and Kox lost one position due to the repairs late in the race, but finished third and took a podium spot in the very first 24h race for the team.

Christoffer Nygaard: “I expected that this race would be challing, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. If you race with 300 km/h on a French public road you need full concentration which is not always easy if you get tired some hours into the race. But there is definitely no room for mistakes. Especially in the night it was very difficult for me, because in the darkness you miss all the usual reference points for breaking. You have to pay a lot of attention to keep the car on the road. I will never forget the podium ceremony in front of so many fans and of course the last lap. This was the first time I looked left and right and recognised how many Danish fans were lined up with flags all along the track, it was a great feeling.”

Peter Kox: “I would have liked to win our class at Le Mans, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. But at the end of a 24h race it doesn’t matter so much if you are second or third, as long as you finished the race. That we lost second place so close to the finish is a real pity, as we had all we needed for a class victory. The race was very hard, this is a very challenging track and on the other hand I don’t drive this car very often. The team did an excellent job, this was their first 24h race and they made it to the end, which is a great performance.”

Tomas Enge: “It was a really great race, not just in our class. I think all drivers delivered a great show today. Many of my friends watched the race on TV and sent me lots of text messages. I would have preferred to finish second, but third is also a good result, the most important thing is to see the chequered flag any way. With our third place we gave the Aston Martin DBR9 a great farewell on this track, due to a rule change the car is not allowed in next year’s 24h race.“

Hardy Fischer, team boss Young Driver AMR:„I’m really proud of my team. The boys had a huge workload during this week and didn’t make any mistakes. The car was prepared really well, and anybody who saw the disassembled car Friday afternoon, would not have believed that we drive a 24h race with this car one day later. To see the chequered flag in our first 24h of Le Mans and finish on the podium is a great effort for the entire team.”
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