MONDAY 23 AUGUST 2010
HUNGARORING TWIGHLIGHT RACE UNKIND TO SIMONSEN
It's always an exciting challenge for a team to race at an unknown venue and such was the case with the fourth and penultimate round of the 2010 Le Mans Series, with Team Farnbacher Hankook finding themselves in Hungary. The venue was the rather difficult Hungaroring that would be attached, like Algarve, in hot twilight conditions.

After Portugal, both Allan Simonsen and Dominik Farnbacher had somehow expected a similar result. The weather was to be quite similar and consitions that did not work in their favour from a rubber point of view.

Hankook had done brilliantly in colder conditions but the heat was not a friend, where the more established brands simply had many more years of experience in that type of climate, with a bewildering array of tyre compounds and constructions to use. None the less, they still put on a strong showing.

With Dominik on qualifying duties, it was Allan's opportunity to learn the track during the three 1 hour practice sessions. There were 3 tyre options for them to evaluate and once done, Dom was into Q time, doing top job coming in P2 until the final moment, being pushed to P6, 0.8 sec of pole. Good job!


Hot conditions did not suit the Korean tyres so well.

For the first time in a long time, Dominik got a poor race start, being forced outside and down to P10. Try as he may to ressurect the lost positions, the tyre performance was all but linear, and he soon pitted with a front left puncture.

With Allan in the car, it was a mere 5 laps before the tyres once again fell away, leaving him 30 laps that required considerable effort to keep the rears alive.

But 5 laps later, the power steering started playing up – something that has occured several times during the year – making life difficult. 15 laps on it failed completely, but was rectified following a longer than normal pitstop.

It was like dejá vu for Dominik, once back behind the wheel – rapid drop off and yet another front puncture.


Hungaroring had produced some great F1 races over the years but wasn't liked by all and sundry.

A combination of short straights and tight corners did not endear itself to the GT or prototype community was an almost unanamous agreement that it was not the best circuit LMS had ever used!

The majority of GT drivers were looking in their mirrors rather than trying to get on with the business of racing.

It was on the whole a dangerous situation, that most will be keen to leave off the 2011 calendar.

With Allan now back in the car, the ambient temperature had started to fall and so had their laptimes, as the tyres and balance became more consistent on their Ferrari 430 GT2.

The 5th stint, for Dominik, was in the dark and this time his run was puncture free.

At 9pm, Allan climbed aboard for the final run to the flag, to finish in 10th place. Not exactly the result the team had hoped for.
Still, Allan was upbeat.

"We drove ten tenths here all day but we knew that it would be tough.

"It was dangerous out there with the prototypes coming up so quickly on the short chutes, taking in some case big risks to get by.

"We've got two days testing in the UK next week, before the Silverstone final on September 12, so we feel that's where we will grab that elusive LMS podium.

"Still we come back stronger each time."

Next weekend is Snetterton British GT, with the Rosso Verde Ferarri 430 GT3 Scuderia, co driven by Hector Lestor.
Pretty, but pretty empty from a crowd perspective.