Le Mans Endurance Series (Round 5)
| Istanbul Preview
By Lindsay Morle
Nov 4, 2005, 09:30
12-13 November 2005
The final round of the 2005 Le Mans Endurance Series takes place in Istanbul, Turkey, next week. This is new territory for the LMES competitors and the Scuderia Ecosse team is looking forward to the challenge. The team is currently lying third in the Championship but the scores are tight so there is a lot to play for; not least an automatic entry for the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours!
NATHAN KINCH KEEN TO GET BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE 360
Although Nathan Kinch hasn’t raced the Ferrari 360 since the last British GT round a month ago, he has been out on the track a few times since then, in a Ferrari F1 car! He has had two outings in a 2003 Barrichello car and thoroughly enjoyed every second, but he’s now fully focused on getting the GT job done at Istanbul.
“I’ve had a lot of fun in the last month but its back to business now; we have a lot to do in Turkey. I’m expecting quite a physical race, what with it being an anti-clockwise track, but from what I’ve seen the circuit looks incredible. I’ll have a walk around the track with our race engineer before the practice starts – maybe a drive too - so we can work out the racing line and the various braking points. There’s no substitute for getting out there in the race car though and I can’t wait.”
ANDREW KIRKALDY GUNNING FOR A WIN
Although Andrew and Nathan have been dominant on the British GT Championship this year, with eleven out of thirteen possible victories, they are still looking for that elusive LMES win. Andrew has been busy testing drivers for his Formula Renault team in the last month and is looking forward to putting the laptop down and picking up his racing gloves!
“I’m really looking forward to this one as the track looks great. Obviously it’s hard to get a proper view from two-dimensional TV pictures but Turn Eight looks amazing! It will take us a few laps to get dialled into the track but I’m hopeful of a great finale to the season and hopefully a great result too!”
SCUDERIA ECOSSE LOOKING TO TAKE SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Although logistically difficult, the LMES race in Istanbul should provide a great closing race for what has been a hard-fought LMES season. The Scuderia Ecosse team is currently lying third in the Championship but the scores are very tight; this means that the team needs to go all out to finish ahead of any other GT2 runner.
“The runner-up spot is anyone’s at the moment and we’d like to make it ours,” said Team Principal, Stewart Roden. “Naturally we’d like to win the Championship but that has gone; I think second would be a great result for our rookie season in LMES, so that’s what we’re going for. It’s also no secret that second place generates an automatic entry for the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours which, as everyone knows, is the ultimate event for us.”
ABOUT ISTANBUL PARK
The circuit at Istanbul Park is brand-new; it was completed this summer in time for its first Formula One Grand Prix and proved an instant hit with the F1 drivers. Situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, the circuit runs in an anti-clockwise direction and has a wide variety of turns, and many changes of gradient. The track was designed by Hermann Tilke, the architect of the new breed of F1 race tracks, and the man behind the spectacular Bahrain, Shanghai and Sepang race circuits. Since the F1 race in August, the circuit has seen action from FIA GT, WTCC and DTM cars; any drivers competing in those categories as well as LMES will have a distinct advantage next weekend.
ISTANBUL LMES TIMETABLE
Friday 1500-1600 Free Practice
Saturday 0900-1000 Free Practice
Saturday 1230-1330 Free Practice
Saturday 1530-1550 Qualifying
Saturday 1600-1620 Qualifying
Sunday 0800-0820 Warm Up
Sunday 1030 RACE (1000km)
LMES CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (GT2)
1 Xavier Pompidou 30 points
= Marc Lieb 30
3 Franco Groppi 20
= Luigi Moccia 20
5 Andrew Kirkaldy 18
= Nathan Kinch 18
1 Sebah Automotive 30 points
2 Autorlando Sport 20
3 Scuderia Ecosse 18
4 Ice Pol Racing Team 16
5 Seikel Motorsport 12
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