Graeme Lowdon: “It’s been an incredible learning experience”

Manor Racing’s Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon felt the experience of the team’s first FIA World Endurance Championship event at Silverstone was a fascinating one, with the two car LMP2 class team showing good competitiveness throughout the weekend.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Six Hour race on Sunday, Lowdon revealed the whole weekend was one big learning experience, getting to terms with the LMP2 machinery in both wet and dry conditions, having had very little track time with either the #44 or #45 machine prior to the event.

“It’s been an incredible learning experience, really interesting and fascinating,” said Lowdon to The Checkered Flag“The race itself was as intense as we thought it would be.

“We’ve just been learning so much, its really quite rewarding from that point of view, but now the challenge for us to implement that as quickly as possible. 

“There are so many areas where we can improve that we have identified, and that’s what teams are all about, looking at where we can learn. I think that’s really what’s kept everyone really quite excited in the team from the really small things to the massive [things].

“We’ve learnt so much now in set-up with very little dry running, well very little running coming in here.  I think there’s just huge enthusiasm here, and can’t wait for the next race.”

Lowdon revealed the #44 car of Tor Graves, James Jakes and Will Stevens was forced into an early retirement due to an engine problem, but he praised all six drivers, experienced endurance racers Graves and Richard Bradley, and the four rookies that included Jakes, Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Matt Rao.

He also wants the Manor team to be measured on how they improve this season, especially with the fact the WEC team didn’t exist two and a half months before the start of the season and the fact the two cars had barely turned a wheel before Free Practice on Friday.

“The #44 car had an engine problem, we brought it in a few times to see if we could do something with it but their were no quick fixes,” revealed Lowdon.  “The engine suppliers will explain to us what’s happened.

“The drivers all did a really good job, four of them are new into endurance racing, and I think they battled really well.  All the drivers did a great job, and as a team we’re just keen to show what we can do and bring all the bits together that we’ve been working on. 

“What we want to be measured on is the improvement. Two and a half months ago we had absolutely nothing in this project, and we’ve established the team, got all the people together, and now what we need to be good at now is quick learners. 

“There is always such a good feeling when you’re learning something, I think that’s where the enjoyment level comes from, and there is so much to learn in this formula, but we’re loving it and we’ll see how we run in Spa.”