in incident-packed Road America race
Gregor Fisken marked his return to modern racing with a fourth-in-class finish and 19th place overall in the American Le Mans Series race at Road America this weekend.
The experienced sportscar and historic car racer teamed up with fellow Brit Ryan Lewis and American John Faulkner for the race at Elkhart Lake and finished just outside the podium places in the premier P1 category. The positive result was achieved despite the trio’s Intersport Racing Lola B06/10-AER being involved in several incidents during the four-hour event.
With the car having missed most of Thursday’s practice session due to an engine problem, Lewis managed to qualify 13th overall on Friday and made rapid progress in Saturday’s race. After making a strong start, the former single-seater star charged up to seventh place before having an off into the gravel at the challenging Carousel corner towards the end of his double-stint. Faulkner than drove a strong first stint, but also had an off, this time at Canada Corner, in his second, which left the car beached in the gravel trap. After returning to the pit lane for repairs and rejoining the circuit, he lost further time to a 60-second stop/go penalty for a pit lane infringement caused by a mechanic working on the car.
Fisken completed the race in difficult conditions with no left rear view mirror and no radio contact, both caused by the earlier incidents. He also had to pit for repairs to some loose bodywork, but drove faultlessly during his Safety Car-interrupted stint to finish 19th and take a respectable class finish.
Fisken said: “It was a little frustrating out there because there were so many Safety Car periods so it was all a bit stop start. However I was very happy to bring the car home and score some points for the team. I also had a problem when the bodywork around the head rest came loose and started flapping. Some small screws had come loose, so I tried to repair it myself when I was driving behind the Safety Car. When it came loose again I was black flagged and had to pit for repairs, but to be honest that was quite a relief as the aerodynamics were so badly compromised that the car was virtually un-driveable.
“The incidents have probably cost us a top ten finish, but overall I have thoroughly enjoyed this weekend and fourth in class is a satisfying result. I got on very well with the team and my team mates and have gained a lot more useful experience of a P1 car. It was also a real thrill for me personally to add a superb circuit like Elkhart Lake to the list of tracks I have raced at.”