Driver Andy Meyrick called the first half of today’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park “the best stint I’ve had in the car” and though cooling issues kept the DeltaWing from seeing the checkered flag on the track, the team takes a long list of positives from the weekend.
Outdoor temperatures were once again in the 90s, with high humidity and even higher track temps. Meyrick started the DeltaWing in 12th position overall and quickly worked his way forward, passing other prototypes and running as high as seventh before handing the wheel to Katherine Legge midway through the two hour, 45-minute event. But shortly after Legge’s stint began, the car experienced cooling issues. The team worked feverishly to repair the car but was unable to get Legge restarted before the checkered flag. The car finished third in the P1 class.
Both drivers were universal in their praise for the team and the car’s positive development.
“We got a really good start,” said Meyrick. “I was quite aggressive in traffic for the first few laps. The car was mega through the traffic and we had great straight speed. It was the best stint I’ve had in the car.
“It was clear that we had made some improvements overnight and the DeltaWing was much more responsive. The Bridgestone tires were working well, the Élan engine was working well. Obviously, with the issues we had later in the race, it’s disappointing. But to an extent, it’s to be expected – this car has never run here before, so the team was really thrown into the deep end, with the hot weather and a sort of “elbows out” kind of circuit. We said from the outset that this is a development program and we are learning things we can take to the next circuits. And Alan (Mugglestone) came in as the engineer and got his head around this straight away. We can see the changes are working and for a driver, that’s really encouraging. The ending wasn’t great but the start was really strong.”
Legge was also pleased with the overall outcome of the race weekend.
“This weekend was very promising,” said Legge. “We made leaps and bounds in the right direction. We had the cooling and braking issues, which we have to work on before Mosport, but we’re excited to see that we are really moving forward.”
“We’re delighted to finish third in P1,” echoed Dr. Don Panoz, DeltaWing managing partner. “The weather might have been good for the fans, but it was hot out on the racetrack. We had some cooling issues but we made a lot of progress this week. The set up on the car was proving very positive and Andy and Katherine did a phenomenal job under the conditions.”
Next up on the ALMS schedule is the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport from Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada on July 19-21. The race is the second of three events that will be televised live in the US on ESPN2, at Noon EDT on Sunday, with ESPN3.com providing the international broadcast. Live qualifying will be on ESPN3.com at 3:30pm EDT on Saturday.