WORDS & PICTURES ED WATTERS
Friday morning arrived all too quickly and with the gate to the pit lane open for all at 10:00 we went through with the masses to await our host. This gave us plenty of time to look at the other cars although the DeltaWing had drawn a huge crowd by this stage, so on to Greaves pit.
The area was busier than expected, obviously a popular team, however once closer the ‘Nissan ladies’ were pleasant on the eye and giving out t-shorts, flags and sweets all suitably branded up, hence the motorsport fans were all out for something. Fortunately our host arrived and we were ushered through the crowds, past the barrier and into the pit itself. Chance to breath once more. With a few last minute stragglers we were then split into two and given a guided tour through the pits. The bodywork of both cars were dismantled in front of our eyes, no doubt to give access to essential areas following the qualifying sessions the day before. Plenty of shiny things on display for those in the know and more carbon fibre than most GTR owners.
Whilst the area around the cars was busy the rest of the pit was relatively quiet and the explanations of the various regulations and in outline the MLP 2 rules, LMP2 is the secondary prototype category that runs with slightly slower prototypes that provides a cheaper alternative to the LMP1’s super high costs. Each chassis is cost capped, the idea being to make the class appealing to privateer teams who want the chance to win world class events without having to get through manufacturers first. This year the LMP2 field consisted of 20 cars.
For all GT-R owners tyres are a favourite topic, if only I had a few spare sets like we saw at the back of the pits. The expected weather meant the race was going to be run in all conditions, with slicks, semi and wet tyres all ready. For those who haven’t been to endurance races it’s not as simple as the fastest pit stop can win or lose the race. Depending on the car you might pit every 11, 12 or 13 laps, however some might need tyres every 2, whilst other can wait every 3 or more. Throw in the weather and different classes of vehicles and drivers and you get too many factors that started to make my brain hurt (or was that the hangover kicking in).
Before I knew it the visit had ended and we were ushered back into the melee of the general public. Thanks to John Miskin for helping smooth the way with his contacts and numerous passes hanging from his neck. Must remember to wear more Nissan merchandise for the next visit. Anyway I had to dash so I can get my GT-R out of the campsite and participate in Mad Friday, which is something everyone should experience at least once, by which stage you’ll be hooked.