Friday, January 9, 2009

Fast laps and further frustrations

As night falls and the track is illuminated by speeding headlights, the Nissan PlayStation 350Z GT4 continues to suffer niggling setbacks. Johnny Herbert was forced into the pit-lane by a problem with the sensor that transmits lap times to the race computer and an issue with the headlights.

When Alex Buncombe got behind the wheel it seemed that the team’s fortunes had turned. He posted a succession of 2:11 minute laps, which were comfortably among the top ten in the field. To add further woe, he was involved in a collision with a Renault Clio, breaking the rear suspension and costing the team five laps.

As the temperature dropped, so did lap times. As Darren Cox, Interactive Marketing Manager of Nissan Europe and Tim Beven, project co-ordinator for the Nissan PlayStation team explained, cool air is denser. This allows the engine to burn more fuel and generate more power. Mild conditions also exert less strain on the car and are more comfortable for the driver.

At the time of writing the Nissan PlayStation team are in 62nd position overall, but there are still many hours to go and with the race strategy now being to push the car to its limits through the early hours of a humid Saturday morning, anything can happen.