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Jun 13, 2014 - 03:02 PM
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2014 Le Mans 24: 8star Come Good At LA Sarthe After Problematic Practice And Qualifying At The Le Mans 24 Hours
Posted by: newsla on Jun 13, 2014 - 03:01 PM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: 8star Come Good At LA Sarthe After Problematic Practice And Qualifying At The Le Mans 24 Hours


The Le Mans 24 Hours motor race held annually since 1923 is regarded as the toughest challenge that motorsport has to offer and 8Star Motorsport and their resplendent orange Ferrari 458 GT AM car rose to the challenge displaying all of the qualities needed to succeed at Circuit de la Sarthe.

 

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Practice and Qualifying for the 24 hour race, which starts at 3pm CET on Saturday (14th June), took place over two evenings as is tradition on Wednesday and Thursday (11-12 June) and proceedings could not have got off to a worse start. 8Stars' American Driver, Frank Montecalvo, was involved in an accident in the first 30 minutes of the Wednesday session after tangling with traffic on cold tyres on the legendary Mulsanne Straight. Approaching the first chicane at maximum speed, the New Jersey-based driver clattered the barriers causing the session to be stopped whilst the car was recovered back to the pit lane.

The damage initially looked superficial, but upon further inspection, that proved not to be the case. The car had sustained some light chassis damage in addition to damaged bodywork, Montecalvo, however was unharmed.

Nonetheless, the team began the task of returning the car to the track and worked tirelessly to have the car prepared to take part in the first of the Thursday’s two sessions and the no.90 Ferrari 458 lined up with its 55 rivals at the end of the pit lane waiting for the 7pm green light. After an exploratory lap, the car returned to the pits suffering electrical issues and as the two-hour session unfolded, the team worked to rectify the faults.

8Star were not the only team suffering from the rigors of the event, as the practice sessions were interrupted time and again by red flags for some sizable accidents, which was in turn began eating into the running time available to prepare car and its three drivers, Montecalvo, Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda.

8Star now had a real battle on their hands to qualify all three drivers for the race in just one final session, which was increased to two and a half hours to recover lost time. The rules of the event state that each driver must complete a mandatory three night laps to prove competence on the 8.47mile track, which encompasses a combination of public roads and permanent race track.

As the sun set over the circuit and track temperatures began to cool, drivers continued to lap the circuit in search of their respective class pole.

The 8Star team ran all three drivers in quick succession to meet the tight FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) regulations throughout the two and a half hour session, before setting a best time of 3m57.217s to position their AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia eighth in class and 42nd overall ahead of 82nd meeting of the iconic 24 hour race.

The 55 cars will next be out on track at 09.00 on Saturday (14 June) morning for a 45-minute warm up, with the start of the race scheduled to get underway by Ferrari F1 star Fernando Alonso at 15.00.


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