CEFC TRSM Racing move to third in the World Endurance Championship‘s LMP1 Teams classification, after a fifth place in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Chinese team which run British-made Ginetta G60‘s was one of a handful of surviving LMP1 cars, as trouble hit many of their opposition.
Of their two cars, only the #5 made the finish, despite the car twice needing to make lengthy stops in the pits for damage. This meant that any chance of an overall podium was quickly shattered, with the #5 team eventually returning to the track in the closing stages and collecting a valuable result in class.
British driver Mike Simpson described it as a ‘trying week’, but was pleased to finish the race. “Everyone knows we have had a lack of testing and our aim was to come here and complete the race with two cars, we achieved that with one.
“Mechanically the car has been good but we have had issues with software and electronics. To come here with a new car which we started from scratch 11 months ago and get to the finish deserves a big pat on the pack for the engineering team and the team as a whole.”
Joining Simpson in the #5 and making his debut at Circuit de la Sarthe was Charlie Robertson. The 21-year-old has worked his way through the Ginetta ladder, becoming the first driver to benefit from the outfits unique structure, taking drivers from the lowest class of racing to the pinnacle of sportscars.
“It was a tough race for us, we made it to the end which was an achievement in itself,” he said. “It is the car’s first race so for that to be the 24 Hours of Le Mans is pretty big. We had a few issues at the start after a bit of contact then we settled into a good night.
“We had an alternator issue and then from that point it was just trying to keep it out on track. I would like to thank everyone in the team for all their hard work and never giving up throughout the night when it was tough.”
The pair was joined by French star Leo Roussel, the only non-British driver in the team, as they move onto the drivers standings leaderboard.
Elsewhere, continued technical issues dropped the #6 to the back, with the all-British line-up unable to display their full potential.
Debutante Oliver Rowland, started with; “I have enjoyed my first experience of Le Mans, I think considering how little running the car has done we have done reasonably well.”
While teammate Oliver Turvey, concluded their sentiment. “I’m very disappointed not to finish, but Le Mans was always going to be a challenge for a first race. It was my first time in the car and I was able to learn a lot from my four stints which will help us to be in a better position for Silverstone.”
The result was an exceptional improvement for the team, who were unable to even start the opening FIA WEC round at Spa-Francorchamps due to funding issues.