Challenging Le Mans for Matt Griffin

by Jake Handley

Ram Racing’s Matt Griffin endured a disappointing weekend at the Le Mans 24 hours, with the Ferrari GT Ace and co-drivers Alvaro Parente and Federico Leo  encountering an a ray of issues throughout the race.

Thursday qualifying got off to the worse possible start for the #52, with Parente crashing the Ferrari 458 Italia at the Ford Chicane, with the car needed substantial rear chassis repairs. Despite that, however, the crew managed to qualify the car in P5 for the race after Wednesday’s qualifying session, in which the team had a misfire.

“We had an engine misfire issue on Wednesday qualifying but got that sorted for Thursday,” Griffin explained. “The car was going very well. We were mainly working on race set up in the Thursday afternoon session and planning on having a go at a qualifying lap on Thursday evening.  Unfortunately Alvaro had a crash which really damaged the car. The guys at Ram worked flat out though and managed to get the car together for the race.”

The race got under way smoothly for the Irishman despite a heavy rain shower an hour and a half in, with Parente getting into the car three hours in. However, an electrical fire soon ignited, with Parente pulling the car over to extinguish it before coming into the pits for almost an hour, with Leo then taking over.

However, when Griffin got back in the car, the Ferrari suffered suspension issues costing the team 20 laps, with Gearbox issues finally ending the cars run at 6:30am.

The Race started well. We went for a conservative strategy using the hard compound tyre and looking to do triple stints with the drivers and tyre,” he continued. “That all went out the window when the weather changed. It was really difficult out there and a lot of drivers crashed, it was just case of staying on the track. I had a spin but managed to avoid any major problems.

It’s really, really disappointing but the car just didn’t seem to want to finish this race.  We’ve been chasing a series of problems since the crash in qualifying, and the Ram Racing guys have worked their backsides off trying to get us back out each time but it wasn’t to be this year.”

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