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Jun 14, 2014 - 05:23 PM
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2014 Le Mans 24: 8star Running Strong In 82nd Le Mans 24hrs As It Reaches The Six-Hour Mark
Posted by: newsla on Jun 14, 2014 - 05:22 PM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: 8star Running Strong In 82nd Le Mans 24hrs As It Reaches The Six-Hour Mark


8Star Motoring continue to impress in the excitement filled 82nd annual meeting of Le Mans 24Hrs at Circuit de la Sarthe and have the pace needed for a podium finish as the race reaches the six-hour mark.

 

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Starting the hugely demanding 24 hour race 42nd overall and eighth in the LM GTE Am class, Paolo Ruberti was first to pilot the orange Ferrari 458 Italia and straight away impressed.

At the close of the second tour of the 13km Circuit de la Sarthe, Ruberti had climbed the leader board to position himself 39th and closing in on the tail of fellow Ferrari driver, Andrea Bertolini.

Averaging a speed of over 200kmh, drivers are required to give one-hundred percent when behind the wheel, but must also manage their fuel loads of tyre wear, a task that Ruberti was able to complete successfully during his opening stint.

As the clock reached the 90-minute mark and Ruberti climbing to a high of 33rd overall and fifth in class, the Italian driver ran wide at Arnage and encountered a left rear puncture to his 458 Italia.

Fortunately, the experienced driver was able to crawl back to the pits for a set of fresh rubber and released back onto the track to compete in the remaining 22-hour race.

An unexpected heavy downpour left a lot of the fast sections of the track resembling a river more than a race circuit, as many drivers slowed to a snail’s pace on their slick tyres, before a collision between a Ferrari 458, the #3 Audi LMP1 and #8 Toyota LMP1 on the Mulsanne Straight called for the deployment of the first Safety Car of the weekend.

Due to poor visibility, the Toyota and Ferrari arrived on the scene at full-speed and were unable to slow enough as they approached the slower cars, and in turn aquaplaned into the barriers and collecting the innocent Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marco Bonanomi.

After 40 minutes of a Safety Car interruption, the race was resumed with less than 22 hours remaining with Ruberti running 13th in the GTE Am class, before the Safety Car was deployed again minutes later due to another downpour.

The Safety Car continued to lead the procession until conditions had eased, which lasted several laps before allowing racing to get back underway, where Gianluca Roda took over the reigns from Ruberti.

As the clock counted down and drivers started to settle in to the endurance race, Roda continued to consistently lap the famous la Sarthe, and at the four-hour stage had positioned him and the 8Star team 34th overall and seventh in class.

With the sun beginning to set over the 82nd Le Mans 24Hrs and cars casting long shadows, Frankie Montecalvo jumped into the seat as the race reached the sixh-hour mark.

8Star Motorsports are currently running 34th overall and eighth in the LM GTE Am class as the team begin to settle down for the long night shift ahead.

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