Gulf AMR Middle East: Milestone reached at Silverstone

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gulf Racing GTE-Am entry today recorded its first classified finish in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, despite battling with a slight clutch problem throughout the six-hour race, to the delight of driver/owners Roald Goethe and Mike Wainwright and their professional team mate Fabien Giroix.  The team has battled against technical woes in the previous endurance rounds of the ILMC.

The Gulf AMR Middle East Aston Martin Vantage finished 8th in the GTE-Am category of the 6 Hours of Silverstone, and the class was won by the IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche of Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo.

Frenchman Fabien Giroix took the start of the race, and brought the No. 60 Gulf Oil International liveried car into the top six in class, dodging rain showers along the way, until handing over to Roald Goethe at just under the hour mark and during the only official safety car period.  Goethe survived a brief off-track excursion and duly passed the wheel of the Aston Martin to Mike Wainwright, the Swiss-based British driver enjoying the company of family and friends at the iconic British track.

Wainwright did a solid job to complete his double stint – the only double of the race for the Gulf Racing team – and got into a good rhythm amongst the multi-class field.  Before the end of the race both Goethe and Giroix, both Dubai, UAE residents, cycled through the car one more time before the chequered flag.
Roald Goethe said afterwards:  “To be classified at the same time as all our competitors, which we weren’t in Spa despite crossing the finish line, feels really good.  It can only get better from here.  In my first stint, it started well and I was happy with my times but I had a bit of a spin in one of the hairpins which lost us a few laps.  In my second stint I was much more comfortable and I think my times reflected that.”

Mike Wainwright:  “I’ve got to say it was good to start and good to finish!  We’ve got things to learn and lots of work to do on the car but it was okay.”  When asked about the busy 39-car field, and how much that might have affected his own race, he commented:  “To be honest I didn’t find the traffic that bad.  I used the mirrors and looked left and right and generally thought the traffic was sensible.  If I saw a car behind me that I thought could pass, I let them go and wasn’t stupid; it was quite manageable.  Silverstone is a long circuit and you see them coming and you can plan accordingly.  It was enjoyable and nice to drive at my ‘home’ circuit…again, to start and finish was great.”

Fabien Giroix:  “The team did a great job in the pit stops but we had a lot of problems with the car during the weekend and we have to work really hard before the next race.    We haven’t got much time because the car has to leave quickly for the United States.  I hope we can improve the car because there’s a lot to do on the chassis handling.”
The team’s next race will be the penultimate round of the ILMC, Petit Le Mans, at the Road Atlanta track in Georgia USA on Saturday, 1st October.

Image  - R Leach
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