IMSD Racing endured a nightmare in the inaugural 10 Hour du Var in France at the weekend. The team, who have won their class at the Spa 10 Hour for the past two years, were looking for a solid top 6 finish but came away empty handed after massive problems in all four of the 2 and a half hour races left them languishing way down the order.
The normally hot and sunny south of France welcomed the drivers with wet weather. Despite the tricky conditions, Eddie qualified the team in 10th place out of the 37 entries. This was even more impressive as Eddie was out in the middle group in super pole qualifying where the track was still damp.
Making a good start, Eddie moved straight up to fifth at the start and ran right up with the leading pack in fourth before handing over in the first round of pitstops. The team slipped back into their more natural position of 8th for the remainder of the race until the last stint when Seth was involved in an incident – being forced off the road and into a spin by another driver. The team finished a disappointing 15th.
Race two was even worse. Starting 15th, Eddie again made a great start to move straight into 10th at the start. He moved up to 8th at turn two before being rammed off the road by Trois Coup De Feu. Dropping to dead last, Eddie then went on a charge, carving his way through the field in the treacherous conditions and lapping two seconds faster than most of the other drivers. After only half of his stint completed Eddie was up to 13th. He then through it all away by spinning off at the entry to the final chicane. Another spin from Ian Miller later in the race dropped the team back to a disappointing 20th.
The team were looking for better fortunes on the Sunday. The weather was hot and sunny when they arrived at the circuit, which boosted everyone’s confidence.
Ian Wilson was nominated to start the race. Unfortunately he got stuck behind the slower karts at the back and then fell off the road at turn one whilst trying to avoid the spinning Mel Broxis in MiniRacers. This incident broke the engine mount and subsequently threw the drive chain, causing the gear to tear themselves to shreds. The team then lost over 15 minutes while they waited for the mechanics to repair the damage. They then decided to get the kart tested and set up properly. Their bad luck wasn’t just limited to the 5 drivers as the test driver spun! Another spin from Eddie at the hairpin just compounded their woes and they finished 36th!
Eddie started the fourth and final race from the back of the grid. By this time the rain had returned. Making another good start, he followed Trevor Randall (Essex TT) through the traffic and they both made a strategic splash and dash on lap 2 to get ahead of the pack. Eddie lost a couple of seconds in the pits but continued to keep pace with Randall until he got held up in traffic. Making steady progress, the team were knocking on the door of the top 10. It was then Stephen’s turn to have the bad luck as he was shunted off the track at the notorious entry to the slow chicane. Again the team lost an engine mount and an exhaust and they had to pit for repairs, dropping them to the back of the field again. Not wanting to lose any more time, the team did not get the mixture adjusted and as a result were hampered in the second half of the race with poor bottom-end and sloppy handling. Not managing to make any more gains, the team finished way down in 25th place.
“All in all the weekend was a bit of a disaster. The circuit was crap, the facilities were crap, the weather was crap, the hosts at the accommodation were crap, the locals were obnoxious, our luck was terrible, the result was rubbish, and I don’t think any of us drove at our best so I was very happy to be boarding the plane back to the UK!”
Eddie was, however, quick to praise Club100 for all their efforts.
”Despite my feelings on the circuit and the weekend as a whole, I can’t take anything away from what JV and all the Club100 guys did over the weekend. They put together the best weekend they could and I think we all appreciate the effort that those guys put in.”