02 Aug 2019
DREAMS GO UP IN SMOKE WITH ONLY 4 HOURS LEFT IN ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS ENDURANCE RACES IN THE AM CLASS
It could have been the perfect end of a great weekend, crossing the line within the first 40 teams (out of a total of 72 cars at the start) for Team Daiko Lazarus Racing. At around 11am, with about your hours to go, this dream went up in smoke. Up to this point the 24 Hours of Spa had several positive aspects for the Team from Veneto, although the Belgian marathon hadn’t started in the best way possible. We’re referring to the crash Lazarus’ Swiss driver Kris Richard had at the first Blancpain race of the season at Monza, which made it impossible for him to race at the 24 Hours of Spa.The Team had then taken the decision to start with just one Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (and not two as it had been planned originally) with four AM drivers in the class for amateur drivers.
In the end the Scot Graham Davidson , Frenchman Sylvain Debs, the Spaniard Fernando Navarrente and the young German driver Immanuel Vinke took turns behind the wheel, each one of them with only little experience with the “monster” from Sant’Agata Bolognese. The qualifying went extremely well, although drivers, mechanics and cars suffered from a heatwave on Friday with over 40 degrees, while in the car’s cockpit even 50 degrees could be reached. In the end the four Lazarus drivers set the eighth fastest lap time in their class with 16 teams and the 65th fastest overall time.
This wouldn’t have been of great importance in the race over 24 hours under totally different conditions: heavy rain, temperatures of around 16 degrees and a red flag during the night couldn’t hold Daiko Lazarus Racing back. At the restart the car was in 43rd position, fighting with the four AM cars ahead. Unfortunately, with only four hours to go, on a still very wet track, Davidson lost the car on the kerb of Blanchimont, the fastest corner on the track, hitting the wall with an impact of over 10G.
“What a pity, because we could have easily arrived within the first 37 cars,” Team Principal Tancredi Pagiaro said. “Everything worked perfectly up to this moment: the pit stop strategy with the tyre changes and the refuelling, with the car always in a perfect state. I also want to thank the organisers behind the pit line, who did an excellent job. We didn’t miss anything. They constantly supplied our 20 people with food, but also the service at the motorhome and the shuttle for the tyres and the petrol worked like a clockwork for 24 hours, so did the service for the drivers, with all the problems we had. In the end, as it had already happened this year, we had a big accident. But this is racing, it’s a little bit like wine, sometimes the summer weather is perfect for the growth of the vines and in other years you have to deal with storms.”
The next race for Daiko Lazarus Racing will be at Silverstone on 7 and 8 September, on the occasion of the fourth of seven rounds in the International GT Open Championship.