Greaves Motorsport ended their 2013 season with the reward of a hard fought podium place in the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The team’s trio of drivers, Björn Wirdheim, Jon Lancaster and Wolfgang Reip, all put in strong performances with the team’s Nissan powered Zytek LM P2 prototype, leading at several points during the race.
Björn drove the opening stints, avoiding the first corner incidents he ran comfortably in the top three positions, though the PECOM car, uniquely using Michelin tyres, had an unexpected advantage on the abrasive Sakhir track. Jon was next in but early in his first spell behind the wheel a bizarre incident caused him to make an unscheduled stop. His tear off visor became lodged in the air box and had to be removed by the crew. Jon, making his first appearance in a prototype and the FIA World Endurance Championship, put that misfortune behind him and ran at a blistering pace for his double stint. Next in was “Wolfie” and he impressed everyone with his performance, especially considering that not only was this race his debut in the FIA WEC, but also that he not previously raced in a single seater or a prototype before this weekend. He maintained the top three position for the team and handed over to Björn who brought the car home running at class leading pace to record a fine third place result.
Björn: “It was a great weekend and I am very pleased the team could finish with a podium. We had a very strong driver line-up and both Jon and “Wolfie” adjusted to the car quickly. I had a good start and was able to avoid the mayhem in the first corner by taking the inside line. We made up two positions there straight away. Initially I wasn’t able to match the pace of the leading ADR but as our tyres degraded, our pace got more even and the gap settled. The PECOM car passed me towards the end of the stint, their Michelin tyres clearly had an advantage. Nic must have been a second a lap quicker. There wasn’t much point in resisting as I wanted to save my tyres and keep pulling away from the fourth placed car. The second stint felt better as I started on a fresh set of tyres. I was able to close a little bit on the leaders.”
Jon: “I have really enjoyed it all, a lot to learn and take in as it’s always busy out there with traffic. I think I coped well with that element though I was a bit fortunate to avoid the spinning Aston Martin! I would just like to thank Tim Greaves and Nissan for the opportunity to drive this weekend and who knows I might be back for more!”
Wolfgang: “It was awesome. I was a little bit sad that my double stint finished, I would like to have continued because I was really enjoying myself. I have still a lot to learn but my lap times were not too bad. I did not manage to use the new tyres to the maximum because I was stuck in traffic when they were at their peak, but that aside I am really happy.”
Jacob Greaves, Team Manager: “This was a strong performance from the whole team, a good way to finish a very long season. We had a car that was able to challenge for victory but the problem with Jon’s visor meant that we were not quite there at the end of the race. Björn did a fantastic job as usual, Jon was really quick and consistent, which you would expect from a driver of his pedigree. “Wolfie” was amazing in his debut in this form of racing, further proof of the value of the GT Academy in producing real racing drivers. The Nissan/Zytek/Dunlop package was really competitive we are looking forward to 2014 and challenging for title honours once again.”
(Greaves Motorsport/ photo: © CLEMENT MARIN – DPPI media)