Friday, January 9, 2009

Mixed fortunes

A combination of solid driving and ill luck has left the Nissan PlayStation racing team with it all to do at the TOYO Tires 24h of Dubai endurance race. Rob Barff got off to a solid start, driving consistently to achieve lap times of around 2:12 minutes. Unfortunately, he was blighted by a freak incident early into his session and was forced to pull into the pit-lane with smoke billowing from his car.

“A piece of debris on the track popped up and damaged the power steering system,” explained Darren Cox, Interactive Marketing Manager of Nissan Europe. “It ruptured a joint and caused power steering fluid to pour onto the track; it also landed on the hot exhaust which explains all the smoke. We’ve repaired it but it has cost us ten laps, which is a blow as Rob was going so well out there.”

Once the fault had been repaired, Lucas got off to a flying start, completing one of his first laps in 2:14 minutes before settling into an impressive run of 2:15 minute postings. However, on lap 36 a puncture forced the Nissan 350Z GT4 into the pit-lane once again, although professional driving from Lucas and a tremendous effort from the pit team meant that the team lost less than a minute.

At time of writing, the Nissan PlayStation team is in 62nd place overall and 15th in their class, with Johnny Herbert currently behind the wheel. Before beginning his session, he said that a comeback was needed, but with Lucas driving so well and, hopefully, the misfortunes behind them, he is optimistic of finishing the race in a respectable position.