MONDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2011
SIMONSEN MAINTAINS SECOND PLACE IN LE MANS SERIES TITLE
From one part of the United Kingdom to another - that's what Allan Simonsen found himself doing midweek as he shifted his attention from a rather sudden performance at British GT Rockingham in the well-out-of-date Ferrari 430 Scuderia to Silverstone where the penultimate race of the series would be held.
Arriving at Silverstone, Team Hankook Farnbacher found themselves in quite a strong second place in the GT-E championship, despite the class now having just expired Formula One drivers!

Dominik Farnbacher was fresh from his summer break and their factory tyre supplier, Hankook, had been making a significant push in tyre technology during the break.

With that in mind, Allan tooked to the grand prix track to concentrate on setup and evaluate the new R4A tyre variants.

But no sooner had the session started, so did the problems – a broken brake balance adjuster needed repair. Once complete, Allan focussed on balance. Initially poor traction and braking performance hampered the Ferrari's progress, requiring a change of compounds.

Despite what seemed to be a troublesome start to the weekend, this is fairly normal for a top line race team, who will go through an array of tyre and suspension settings in order to maximise the race setup. There is no point having tyres that work for 5 laps and then need to be changed. This is endurance racing and you need to have your fuel figures and tyre degredation well in hand.

Dominik concentrated on race pace and completed 40 minutes in a very consistent fashion.

A new launch control system was also being used this time out and it worked a treat, saving a few seconds at every pit stop.

Allan was on qualifying duties and no sooner had he moved on track was hit from behind forcing a short pitstop. All was ok. The R4B tyre spec was used and that produced a suitable qualifying result.

Race start: Things were not so great on the formation lap with little traction in the cold conditions – other teams had used tyre warmers right until the split second Q started, which obviously helped.

It took two laps before the tyres came up to temperature and Allan could push on, only to be incorrectly picked up by the first safety car, with the factory BMW M3 in front of him.

As the race resumed it was clear he didn't have the pace of the other GT-E cars.


Back in the pits, team boss Horst was busy making some engine ECU map changes, ready to be applied for the next stop. Once done, Dom found the car to be the fastest in GT-E, matching the front runners.

It was a disappointing weekend overall, finishing 8th, with rubber that had been further developed but not as well suited to the tricky Silverstone circuit.

Next weekend is the L&H 500, V8 Supercar enduro at Phillip Island, Australia.