Massive's disappointment at ELMS

Thursday, April 16, 2015

After many winter months in the planning with the setting up of a brand new racing team, Massive Motorsport embarked on their first race of the 2015 European Le Mans Series at Silverstone last weekend.

Driven by the Danish line up of Kristian Poulsen, Caspar Elgaard and Simon Moller and competing within the six car GTC field the beautifully liveried red white and black V12 Vantage looked good for a podium finishing position having shown an increasing pace during the free practices.

It was the turn of Elgaard to qualify the #68 car within the allotted twenty minute session. On a damp track the car turning just three laps he returned a team best time so far of 2:04:046 to qualify 5th on the starting grid for later that day.

With the weather and track temperature improving up to the start of the race the race would at least start with a dry track. After the 1.5 green flag laps the race start was immediately thrown into chaos with one spinning prototype being collected by another spinning prototype spewing a debris field wide over the circuit the following cars thankfully managed to avoid. The start would also see the early demise of another GTC challenger even before the start/finish line.

During his first stint Elgaard found great pace and was racing P1 in class but with the top three being spread over only three seconds the pressure on him was immense. After his and the pursuing GTC pack completed their first round of stops the #68 would again appear top of the class on the leader board.

Next in was Simon Moller and that stop dropped the car down to P3 in class and P19 overall. Being perhaps the 'slower' driver of the three Moller pounded on putting in consistent lap times and keeping out of the way of the faster cars. Immediately before Moller was due to come in a swap with Poulsen (in just half a lap) an unexpected passing manoeuvre onto the International Straight by the race leading Greaves P2 caused Moller to over compensate in both speed and direction causing a collision between him and the class leading AF Corse Ferrari GTC of G Roda.

The ensuing collision would send the Vantage spinning backwards into the start of the International pit straight wall and into immediate retirement. The AF Corse Ferrari would make it back to its pit but would also retire upon its arrival there.

That result must have been a massive (no pun intended) disappointment for both the drivers and team as, on paper at least, they were more than worthy of a podium finishing position. Now the team will have plenty of work to do making the car ready for the next round of the ELMS at Imola during mid May but at least the team do have experience of that track having tested there for two days earlier in the year.

Despite their own disappointment it was great to see the drivers in the Aston Martin Racing garage supporting the marques drivers and countrymen competing in the WEC.

Photo credits - Matt Hunter / Massive Motorsport / Motors TV
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