1000Km of Spa - Race Report
JWA - Avila continues to make solid WEC progress with a 4th place in the GTAM class at Spa and we are now joint 3rd in the FIA World Championship standings.
A 2 day tyre test prior to the event was severely hampered by rain limiting much required development work however we remain very positive about our partnership with Pirelli and confident in their extensive resources.
From a personal perspective Spa proved to be an intensive event where I was obliged to combine commercial responsibilities with competition. Whilst this may not be ideal for a driver, Avila Automotive is a commercial venture which must operate on a profit making basis if to prosper in the long term.The upcoming 24 hrs of Le Mans added to this financial workload.
On a technical front a significant development since Sebring is our employment of a telemetry system on the car.This represents yet further investment in the championship by the shareholders but we are sure that the associated performance benefits will justify the expenditure.The system could prove pivotal at Le Mans in the detection of deflating tyres.
Race - Markus had an exceptional start in difficult conditions passing 4 cars in the first 2 laps.Changing weather - wet to dry - complicated strategy but it was decided to double stint Markus and Joel both of whom completed pretty much faultless stints.I took the car to the flag and initially attempted to avoid a late race 'splash & dash' with a lean map and short shifting however this plan was abandoned when it became clear that a WEC position was not at stake.Unfortunately some time was lost with inefficient pit stops notably an unexplained slow refueling rate.This is now under investigation by the team and I am sure will be resolved for the test day.
The 1000Km of Spa is without doubt a highlight of the endurance season and this race was no exception.
The team is now occupied with preparations for the 24 hours of Le Mans which includes an intensive physical training program for the drivers. All 3 of us spent last weekend at the team HQ with our trainer where he pushed us to the limit.Next week we will undertake simulator training at Silverstone.
More news following the official test day - is there a 4.00 min dead in our RSR ?? lets see.
Many thanks to Porsche,Pirelli and all our trade partners and sponsors for their continued support.
Paul Daniels on behalf of JWA-Avila