Albuquerque, Salaquarda and Schmid bring I.S.R. racing to the seventh place with an exciting comeback race at Paul Ricard
The Czech outfit made it to the start of the classic French race full of motivation and managed to convert it into a championship points result. Eying to the Total 24 Hours of Spa, I.S.R. racing brought on track a new drivers lineup: Filip Salaquarda (CZ) and Clemens Schmid (AUT) exchanged duties at the wheel of the n.75 Audi R8 LMS with Filipe Albuquerque (P). The n.76 car, officially supported by Audi Sport, was driven by Frank Stippler (GER), Jamie Green (GBR) and Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) instead.
It has been clear since free practice that a flawless race would have been the only way to get a good result due to the tight battle on track that saw very small gaps splitting the front runners. The n.75 Audi R8 LMS posted a 1’57.551s in qualifying that placed it in fourteenth row with the twenty-eighth time. The factory supported n.76 car was only a few hundreds behind in twenty-ninth place with a quickest time of 1’57.599s.
The race has been exciting and spectacular as it started late on Saturday afternoon and ended overnight. Albuquerque started on the n.75 and found a good feeling with the car since the beginning, putting in strong performances that allowed him to recover some positions before handing the car over to Schmid. The Austrian continued this momentum driving at sunset and climbing in the top ten towards the end of his stint. Filip Salaquarda led the Audi R8 LMS through the closing stages of the race in the night. The Czech driver managed to stay focused and cool materializing the extraordinary comeback started by his co-equipers completing a stunning twenty-one position recovery to take seventh at the flag.
The race of the n.76 car has been more complex instead, as it was slowed down by a penalty during the third hour which made a recovery very difficult. The competitiveness of the package has been confirmed by the performance put in on track though. Stippler started the race and he began his recovery as did by the sister car run by I.S.R. racing. Green took the wheel over for the central part of the race and, despite some episodes slowing his race down, he managed to defend himself well. Van der Linde closed the race recovering some further positions to take the final thirtieth place.
Igor Salaquarda (I.S.R. racing, Team Principal):
„It has been a very intense race. We knew that, due to the starting position, strategy would have been crucial and the whole team did a stunning work both on track and in the pits. Recovering more than twenty positions is an absolutely stunning result which proved once more our competitiveness and the reliability of the Audi R8 LMS. This is a great performance that boosts our confidence ahead of the forthcoming round of Spa. We pushed hard from lights to flag and we are sorry for not getting what deserved by the n.76 car“.
I.S.R. racing will be back on track next July 27-30 for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, that is the most awaited race of the season.
25.06.2017, I.S.R. Racing