Larbre crew makes repairs just in time to score points…..in the words of American lead driver Ricky Taylor
“It was my first trip to Fuji and I felt the culture, history and passion everywhere. We dedicated the race to a friend Kaneko-san who was the translator for our teammate Yutaka Yamagishi among other duties”.
“WEC qualifying takes the average of the fastest lap between the Bronze driver and Gold/Platinum driver. Yutaka Yamagishi was racing at his home track. Pierre Ragues had also raced there. My second timed lap was best but I messed up the final lap putting us second at the time. Yutaka hopped in and turned his personal best lap leaving us P3 to start the race”.
Halfway through the six-hour race, Pierre handed the car back to Yutaka to complete his required drive time. The track was getting hot and greasy and we slipped to 4th about 30 seconds back”.
“Pierre took the bait and drove like a man possessed, cutting the gap in half. My turn was next but suddenly the crew rushed to put on their helmets and grabbed their dollies. When the car came in oil was everywhere. A stub axle broke and tore things to bits”.
“We stood to lose points if we failed to finish 70% of the race. That meant we needed to complete at least 15 more laps which takes about 24 minutes. With just 50 minutes to go there was not enough time to drop the gearbox, replace the axle and seal so a proper repair was ruled out. Instead chief Phillipe “macgyvered” a plastic cup into a seal with a rubber grommet that got the car to the finish”.
“Although 6th in class was not what we wanted, we take this incredible spirit, perseverance and teamwork into our next race in China”.