Nurburgring, 20th August 2015, FIA World Endurance Championship:
Competing against new-generation LMP2s, Oliver Webb, Pierre Ragues and Archie Hamilton secured the second top 4 finish in the LMP2 class for TEAM SARD MORAND and the #43 Morgan EVO SARD, powered by the Judd Power designed and supplied HK engine.
Benoit Morand and his “guys” cemented their reputation for consistency and reliability on the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, as regular contenders for the top 5. One of the oldest LMP2s on the grid, the #43 Morgan EVO SARD rapidly moved to P4 after the green flag with Oliver Webb at the wheel.
The British driver maintained this position until he handed over to Pierre Ragues after 1h40min of racing. After the first series of pit stops, the Frenchman rapidly regained the fourth position in class. So did Archie Hamilton for his first race with the Swiss team, with a remarkable stint before Oliver Webb came back on the race track 45 minutes before the chequered flag.
Oliver Webb: “The car had a pretty good pace here at the Nurburgring. Archie was quick and he had a good first with the car. We are quite satisfied overall. The team and I have never been to the Circuit of the Americans, it is going to be very new for all of us but the Morgan entered there last year did good.”
Pierre Ragues: “We proved today that we could be major contenders even if we need to gain a little more performance to battle for a podium finish. The Morgan is an old car indeed but it experienced good evolutions, all we have to do is find a few more tenths. That said, we had a great weekend anyway. Archie did great for his first race with the car and Oliver was brilliant in the early stages of the race.”
Archie Hamilton: “I had no radio communications during my stint so we did everything with pit board. In the end the pace was really good. The team did a fantastic job and the car was brilliant. I would like to stay in the team and the team would like me to stay. We would like to make Austin together but we have to sort a few things to make this happen. So let’s cross fingers for the next couple of days.”
Benoit Morand, the Team Manager’s final word: “First of all I would like to thank my faithful partner Duka Gervalla for his precious help regarding the dispute that prevented us to compete in free practice 1 this weekend. We had a great race although the circuit was not meant to be favourable for us. The guys did a tremendous job during the first pit stop. We were 6 and came out 4 and the drivers did great to maintain this fourth position, especially Archie for his first race with the car and very little testing. We managed to finish ahead of other old-generation LMP2s that are still proving competitive.”
The next round of the 2015 WEC will take place on the Circuit of the Americas at Austin (Texas) on Saturday September 19. For Benoit Morand and his team, this 6-hour race will be the first outside Europe.