SUNDAY 6 JUNE 2010
TRIPLE TYRE FAILURE DESTROYS SPA BRITISH GT RACE
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is only a week away but that doesn't stop our heroic Dane doing as much driving as possible. After a the annual Danish drivers get together at The Tivoli, in the centre of Copenhagen, on Thursday at 3pm, Allan put in an 8 hour stint to Spa in his trusty EVO-9 road car.

He wasn't going to let that volcano mess up his life and plans in France again
!

The 2009 British GT European adventure to Spa had been kind on Allan Simonsen and team mate Hector Lestor. He'd qualified over a second clear of everyone else, and now with the 2010 Scuderia spec car, things were looking good.

As odd as it seems that a British Championship would travel to Belgium, everyone loved coming here. So do the locals and that was borne out by the Belcar Championship being added to bolster the field to a massive 60 cars, which was more than teh entire four class Le Mans Series race, only a month prior.

With track times around 2m 30s in GT3 spec, remembering that out and in laps are of no value, time wise, you've got to have the ability to get a time in very early. Especially with two drivers, a single 1 hour practice session and an area that is notorious for throwing changeable gnarly weather at you.


Typical Simonsen @ Spa - on the pace!
Allan was first out to check setup, bed in pads and grain the rotors. Having not race the last BGT event due to the Spa LMS date clash, there was a bit of setup work to do.

With the car dialed in, something Allan is very good at doing, quickly, Hector was installed to get as much seat time as possible on the wonderful piece of winding bitumen, that flows throw the picturesque Ardennes.

Tyre blowouts damage is clearly evident

This is where the team spent too much time - in pit lane.

Whilst the Belcar addition was a great boost for the fans, it made it very tough for a driver to find the perfect clear lap. Get the entry speed wrong at Eau Rouge and you're paying for it in spades all the way up the hill to the highest part of the circuit, Malmedy.

As a very slight concession, GT3 cars were given the last 15 minutes of Q, for themselves. That translates to 3 flying laps at best!

Allan's 2nd 'exclusive GT3' lap was good enough for pole, but and errant Viper, in front, suddenly lunched its engine in a big way, depositing oil over the track. Q was red flagged and not restarted. Result – 3rd. Lambo on pole and Porsche Cup R in 2nd.

It was a single two and a half hour race and Hector was the starter. The strategy was for him to do 45 minutes, then pit, for Allan to get in. All was going good. Until the 35 minute mark.

Hector radioes in to say a rear tyre has gone. The real disaster is that it happens at Turn 1, La Source, which means he has to trundle around for the entire lap, being careful not to have the tyre fly apart. The danger is that if that happens, it can knock out ancillary components such as brake lines, forcing a length repair.

But he was lucky, the new tyre fitted only to return at the 45 minute mark for the driver change. So why didn't Allan just get in when the tyre blow which was around 39 minutes? That's because of minimum and maximum driver time that must be adhered to in a co-driver event.

10 minutes later, the exact same thing happend to Allan , at T1, on full tanks. On the way to Eau Rouge the other rear tyre blew leaving team in a very tricky situation. That ruining the day.

It was a slow lap back for another set of rears, but too much time was lost. Despite having 1Hr 20 mins left, it was a hopeless task to regain podium position, and Allan finished 10th.

Back into the EVO-9 and off to Le Mans for tech inspection the very next day. Unbeliveable dedication!