Early morning heartbreak for Massive Motorsport at Barcelona 24H

Monday, September 05, 2016

Danish quad Massive Motorsport came away from the penultimate round of the International Endurance Series in Barcelona empty handed again at the weekend as further mechanical woes struck down their V12 Vantage GT3.

Fielding just three drivers for the event after team regular Kristian Poulsen became indisposed, things were looking rather rosy, although busy for the team after they qualified the #55 car in third position for the midday start of the race on Saturday.

Despite loosing a couple of places on the opening laps the high ambient temperatures soon became an issue for the drivers in an ageing car that doesn't have the air conditioning systems that new models perhaps do. Caspar Elgaard, who opened the race for the team was heard commenting that the cockpit temperatures were hitting 50+ and it was obvious that the driver was quickly beaching the weakest link in the package.

Hitting a stint length of about 90 minute intervals the #55 was at least able to maintain something of a static position relative to the leaders, simply ebbing and flowing up to as high as P2 during the pit stop cycles of those ahead.

Just after six and a half hours of running however the first 'issues' were raising their heads as Poulsen had to pit as fluid (then unknown) was spraying up onto the windscreen from the front of the car causing significant visibility issues. Over 24 laps and about an hour in time were lost as the team affected the necessary repair dropping them down to as low as P34 by the time Elgaard returned the car to the track.

Despite this hiccup and during the hours of darkness the #55 car began to slowly chip away at the lead of those cars ahead, climbing to up to P21 at the half way point of the race and by hour sixteen they were up as high as P11! 

With decent result for the team becoming a real possibility terminal mechanical issues were to strike back at the team again during the early hours of Sunday morning when, with Poulsen at the wheel, the gearbox catastrophically failed leading to a small fire underneath the car from the spraying oil. With Poulsen fortunately being able to safely exit the car that was it for another race for the #55 car.

These events must be a crushing blow for a team especially after what had happened to them at Paul Ricard but being Danes we're sure that they will just pick themselves up and prepare themselves for what will be the final round of the series at Brno. They deserve a result at that one at least!

Photo credits - Creventic / Massive

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