Stuart Moseley, set out to “race the race” this weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hour circuit knowing that just to finish would be a tall order. After his disappointment last year of an early finish he set his sights on making it through the 24 hours and he, with the Barazi Epsilon team, achieved just that – no mean feat given that only 34 of the 55 starters finished the race.
The team was optimistic after qualifying third in class and after Stuart set the third fastest time in warm-up. It wasn’t the trouble free run that Stuart hoped for, however, with the rigours of the endurance race taking its toll on the Zytek car. In the hands of his team-mates Juan Barazi and Michael Vergers the car suffered from a fuel problem and a wishbone failure which cost time but it was while Stuart was driving on the high-speed Mulsanne straight that the car suffered from a major tyre failure. He managed to get the car back to the pits despite having no electrics, having to remove smashed bodywork and effectively only having three wheels. Repairs cost even more time but not enough to deny Stuart and the team their finish and at the car crossed the line fifth in class and 29th overall.
Stuart Moseley “I did four sessions behind the wheel. The first one was on Saturday evening in the dry. Apart from a minor clutch problem which meant a slightly extended pit-stop everything was going well. I think my middle of the night session was my favourite. It was dark and raining but the car had fantastic pace so it was relatively easy to regain time on the competition. The last stint was when I had the blow-out. I was about to come in to hand over the car when without warning the tyre blew taking out the engine cover and electrics.
"I managed to pull up and remove the damaged bodywork but because of the electrics I had no radio back to the pits and the car was stuck in sixth gear. I had to rock it to get it into neutral so that I could start it and nurse it very carefully back to the pits. The team did a great job repairing everything and keeping us going through the 24 hours. I always knew it would be hard and said that even to finish would be great.
“I suppose as a racing driver I’m always looking for that win so while part of me is happy with our achievement I can’t help feeling disappointed that we didn’t make the podium. I know I’m very fortunate to have been given this opportunity so I’m very grateful to Juan for giving me the drive. I’ve had a great two weeks with the team and a great time racing Le Mans again. It’s addictive though and I’m already itching to get back next year.”