The G-Drive Racing by Signatech-Nissan WEC team suffered a crushing blow last weekend when they were set for an LMP2 class victory in the 6 Hours of Bahrain until the car was called into the pits by the race director because of a faulty race number light. After taking seven minutes to rectify the problem, the car re-entered the race to take a disappointing fifth place in the LMP2 rankings.
After having spent most of the free practice sessions working on tyre wear, the team were surprised when Roman Rusinov was able to put the car into a creditable seventh place on the grid. Come the race, Nelson Panciatici capitalised on this by taking the lead in the LMP2 class in the first stint before then setting the third fastest lap of the race. The car’s third driver Pierre Ragues also set reliable and fast lap times throughout his stints.
Of the result, Panciatici said: “It’s really frustrating because we had all the means to win. The positive we can take from the weekend is that we took the lead in our category before the problem. This shows that we should have a win before the year is out.” Of his own experience, he then continued: “Personally, I am still getting traffic experience but I’m getting better in every race. I always enjoy driving endurance races.”
Philippe Sinault, the boss of the G-Drive team, was also obviously disappointed: “I am very upset. We could have won. We really had the performance and we were up there battling with our main rivals. Our strategy was perfectly adapted to the race conditions.”
However, Sinault also aired his displeasure with the officials’ decision: “I found [the decision] very unforgiving. The race number was more than 80% visible and only a few light cells at the bottom of it were defective. It’s an injustice.”
The team will be able to make amends for the lost victory at the next round of the WEC, which will take place over 6 hours at Fuji Speedway in Japan over the weekend of the 13th and 14th October.