Brake disc failure forced Attempt Racing’s Tresor Orange 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II to retire from the halfway point of the Paul Ricard 1000km with a lead of nearly 30 seconds.
The German team built a big advantage in the first three hours, but that advantage came to an end when Ricardo Veller encountered a deflation in the left rear tire of car #40.
This deflation was later found to be the result of a problem with the right rear brake disc, explaining why Attempt had pushed the car into the garage without a new tire fitted.
At this point ROWE Racing was in the lead of the race, but Raffaele Marciello put pole-sitter Accodis ASP back in front and Mercedes-AMG won the six-hour race.
“The car led effortlessly and did a great job,” Attempt team principal Arkin Aka told Sportscar365.
“The pitstop was great. Then we had a problem with the rear brake disc, which was the cause of the puncture. The brake disc destroyed the rim, deflated and broke.
“It was 30 seconds behind the second car. It’s not normal for the rear wheels to have disc brakes, the front wheels have disc brakes, but normally the rear wheels don’t.
“I have to say bad luck. Maybe we have better luck.” [the 24 Hours of] spa. “
A frustrated Feller was even seen slamming the driver’s side door of his Audi after returning the damaged car to the pits.
Dennis Marshall, a Tresor-backed attempt, started the race, overtaking AF Corse’s Robert Schwartzmann on the opening lap, then passing Getspeed driver Maro Engel on the Mistral straight for fourth. He moved up from the grid to 2nd place.
An undercut strategy then saw Audi emerge as the leader from the first pit stop, with Mattia Drudi and Veller taking turns to widen the gap on the other pros, before problems with the Brembo-supplied brake discs.
“Everyone did a good job and showed their performance,” Aka said.
“Feller did a great job, Mattia did a great job. Marshall was flying. Everything was fine at this point.
“Then, when it was time to change drivers, I had a problem with the disc. This had never happened before.”
Despite the disappointing retirement, Tresor boss Ferdinand Geri, who is a partner in this year’s GTWC European attempts programme, said the Audi No.’s fast pace was a encouraging sign ahead of the next Endurance Cup race at Spa. added.
“When the brakes fail like this, there’s nothing you can do,” he told Sportscar365.
“We were really strong. [were] 30 seconds [ahead of] 2nd car 3 hours later. What more can I say? It is really a pity. It’s really no one’s fault.
“But it showed that the team and drivers are really strong and are working very well.
“The pace was really good and I’m looking forward to having a great race in the factory Audi sports car with the same team and drivers at Spa.” Audi Sport will help us out.
“I think we’re really looking forward to doing our best there.”