Pegasus Racing team manager Julien Schell is confident about his team’s progress despite a difficult opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone.
The Alsace based squad was not classified in the official results for the 4 hour race, after an incident at the start prompted two lengthy delays. However, the pace of the #29 Morgan-Nissan LMP2, driven by Jonathan Coleman, Léo Roussel and David Cheng, was encouraging enough to suggest that Pegasus Racing can challenge for podiums in the remaining four rounds of the championship.
Starting from 7th on the grid, Coleman was in the thick of the LMP2 class action. Despite holding his position at the first corner the Englishman was helpless in his efforts to avoid the spinning #34 AF Corse ORECA 03 of Kirill Ladygin. Both cars suffered in the impact, with the Morgan-Nissan in particular sustaining severe collateral damage to the front axle and bodywork after striking the errant ORECA.
After limping back to the pits Coleman handed the car over to the Pegasus Racing pit crew to assess the damage. A thirty minute frenzy of rebuilding and repairing the front end of the car allowed the team to send Coleman back out, only for a separate throttle issue to limit the car to 40% of its engine capacity. The delays incurred solving this additional problem cost the team another 45 minutes, by which it was firmly rooted to the bottom of the timing sheets.
The difficult start was somewhat recompensed by Roussel, whose 1:52.156s fastest lap was knocking at the door of the leaders. Solid stints from Cheng and Coleman enabled the team to gain valuable track time and refine the set-ups that had been developed at the pre-season test.
Despite failing to officially finish, team boss Schell was pleased with what he saw during the 64 laps that his drivers had on track.
“I can draw positive conclusions from this first round of the European Le Mans Series,” he said. “Firstly, I am satisfied with the choice of our line-up as it reveals to be the right one. Then, we have decided to trust Michelin and once again this was the right choice. I am happy about the quality of the tyres provided.”
“Even if we started with an unfortunate crash, we have shown the performance was there, he added. “I would like to thank all our partners who trust us. We are going in the right direction, it is a good omen for the rest of the season and the whole team is looking forward to being at Imola for the next round!”
Pegasus Racing will aim to put its potential into practice at the next round of the European Le Mans Series, which takes place at Imola on May 17.