Gearbox woe ends Primat’s..

Petit Le Mans hopes

Harold Primat’s chances of a second consecutive Petit Le Mans podium finish were ended by gearbox failure after four hours of an incident-packed ten-hour race at Road Atlanta.

The Geneva-based driver shared a Creation CA07 with Jamie Campbell-Walter and Stephen Simpson and the trio were fighting inside the top ten overall of the ultra-competitive prototype field at the time of the failure.

Starting from 16th on the grid, South African Stephen Simpson made good progress in the early stages to climb the order during his double stint. Handing the car to Harold in 12th position, Primat continued to progress and climbed into the top ten, fighting with the P2 Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder and Stefan Johansson in the P1 Corsa Motorsport Zytek.

Misfortune struck towards the end of his double-stint however when a GT2 Dodge Viper rejoined the circuit directly into Primat’s path, forcing him to spin. Campbell-Walter took over after Harold pitted looking to re-climb the order. Sadly, he lost second gear just 30 minutes into his stint, a prelude to a complete gearbox failure just before the four-hour mark.

Harold Primat: “The GT2 car rejoined right in front of me and there was nowhere I could go. It’s frustrating when these things happen as the race was going well until that point. While it’s always disappointing not to finish, I’ve enjoyed this weekend. My pace was strong and the team asked me to do qualifying. I think this weekend’s performance has shown them the improvement I have made over the last few years. I also noticed how much the level of competition in the American Le Mans Series has improved this year and it’s getting more difficult for the privateers to compete.

“My season is over now and I’m already beginning my preparations for next year. 2008 has been my best year yet and with more hard work this winter, 2009 can be even better.”

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