Christopher Zeuner and his Kumiega Racing team have won the Le Series Season on their first attempt.
They raced to victory in the eight hour Brno Circuit Finale a few weeks ago, and Zeuner kept a diary of the weekend for all you eager Ginetta fans.
07.30 – Drivers Briefing
Looks like a good turn-out of drivers and teams. It’s the last race of the season so many teams are making the effort to participate in this race as it will be the last for a few months as Czech winter feels like it is already on the way. We are warned the track is cold, slippery and a bit dirty, so should be a fun start for Jurek Franek, who will start from 3rd on the grid today. Having competed in the Paris-Dakar race in 1988, he is definitely our most experienced driver so we should have no problems.
09.00 – Race Start
The 2 formations laps went without a hitch, the lights are green and the clock has started ticking down from 8 hours. I am watching from the opposite side of the track to the home straight, and have a great view of one of the longest sequence of corners. It’s a great spot. We have dropped from 3rd to 4th after the first few laps, but it’s a long race and we are just sitting on the back of the lead pack. Our driver change sequence took some forethought for this race as the Franek father and son duo are splitting their seat between them, and I am planning my first double stint.
10.25 – First Driver Change Completed
One of the teams regular guest drivers, Parveen Sehmi, has taken over from Jurek. He is putting in consistent times and we are holding station in the top 4. Jurek got us back into second place during his stint. The Ginetta’s great reliability means it’s been an uneventful race for us so far. The same cannot be said of the G55’s older stable mate, a 1983 Porsche 3.2 911, which is driven by Jeff Alson, who also partners with me in the G55 once a year. Two engine fires which brought the fire crews to the Kumiega boxes means we were in the spotlight of the Czech sports TV news crews as well as the marshals!
11.30 – My time has come
OK, but nervous now. In the car in 10 minutes for a planned double stint. 3 hours in the car could be tough. We have our own film crew with us as we are producing a short documentary showing the team progress with the G55 in the first year we are running the car. I hope I don’t look as nervous as I feel….
13.40 – I Felt That…!
Completed my first double stint. It was great!! The car is running well with no issues whatsoever (the same story for the whole season so far but let’s not tempt fate with 56 hours on the engine…). I had one fuel stop which was the only breather I had. I forgot to drink to a lot of my first drive, but refuelled myself at the same time as the car. Feel great though slightly tired having completed just under three hours in the car. Lap times got slightly quicker towards the end of the stint, but consistency suffered slightly. I have a feeling I will notice my neck tomorrow after such a long stint in the car, but it tells me I need to strengthen it during the winter period. Handed the car over to Parv’s in second position.
17.10 – Job Done
Parv’s and Kuba Franek completed the last two stints without incident, coming home second in class and third over-all. Both posted consistent times, and there were no issues with the car whatsoever. After eight hours of racing we finished about seven minutes behind the leader. For sure we can make up time next season by optimising the number of drivers and stint times in each race, as well as the driver changes themselves. Something to work on over the winter. It’s a good result though, it means that we have won the Le Series Central Europe Endurance Championship overall in the first year we competed with the G55. In the four races, we came finished every race on the podium, having come 3rd, 1st, 1st and 2nd in each race respectively. The car has not had any mechanical issues whatsoever, so a big thanks to everyone in Garforth, especially Dan, for the refresh from last winter, and also to Jamie for twisting my arm into buying the car!
Sunday 25th October 2015, The Plan Ahead.
The whole team had a few beers last night to celebrate winning the series, so a few sore heads this morning (as well as my neck from yesterday’s double stint). Invariably, we are always thinking ahead. Next season I would like to double stint in each event so will prepare for this over the winter period. The G55 engine will be sent back to Garforth for re-conditioning and we need to work out how we can race in more events next year – it looks like a second engine for the car we have is the most likely step. Looking forward to next season already!