FIA GT3 European Championship team Fischer Racing left Paul Ricard with more points for their Ford GT, as well as the experience of a rather unusual problem.
Christoffer Nygaard started the second of the weekend's races and after a turbulent start worked his way up to sixth by the time he handed the car over to his Finnish teammate Mikko Eskelinen. However, Eskelinen soon encountered steering problems with the Ford GT – the only example to the successful GT3 entrant in the field.
The steering was a little bit crazy, the car was very hard to drive in the final minutes of the race”, he described. “I had to concentrate to finish the race, so I couldn't hold off some other cars that overtook me and I lost some positions.“ The team missed out on te points by a single position, finishing eleventh.
It was in the first round where the team found points, drama and Nygaard found wonderfully illustrative descriptive powers.
Eskelinen started the car from tenth and was able to make up three positions on the opening lap. However, following a mistake the Finn fell back to his starting spot before swapping Nygaard into the driving seat, when the team's race took a turn for the strange and dangerous as the Ford's bonnet (which covers elements such as the front suspension on the rear-engined car) came loose, flipping up and obscuring the view from the cockpit.
“At first, the bonnet was a bit loose, but then that thing was on the windscreen and I couldn't see anything“, the Dane explained. “It was still ten minutes to go in the race and I thought I had to pit, but then suddenly the bonnet flew away. But after that the aero of my car was like a fridge with an open door,“ he added, though quite how open white goods drive is left implicit.
The GT3 European Championship now takes its summer break, only returning in mid-September in Portugal. Mikko Eskelinen will fill some of the gap competing on gravel roads in the Finnish round of the World Rally Championship.