• Points go begging after clash with backmarker
Harold Primat and his Bentley Team HTP co-drivers were denied the opportunity to fight for a points finish in round two of this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone earlier today (May 24) after their race was once again ended by another car.
Having been the innocent victims of someone else’s accident at the opening race in Monza last month, the Swiss ace – along with Mike Parisy and Vincent Abril – saw a promising opportunity come to nothing after making good early progress through the Pro Cup field.
That the trio started only 20th owed everything to Parisy’s final flying qualifying lap being compromised by a spinning car ahead. Indeed, just three tenths ultimately separated them from the top-10, suggesting that more was to come that afternoon.
With nearly 60 cars on track the action was always going to be frenetic at the start of the three-hour encounter, and despite the ever-changing positions Abril had progressed to 16th when, lapping traffic, he was swiped by another driver. The #84 Bentley Continental GT3 took a heavy hit but continued until pitting under a full-course caution 10 minutes later.
The team’s decision to stop while the race was being run at a much slower pace would have paid back handsomely later on when their rivals did likewise, but the strategy never had a chance to run its course after Parisy suffered a puncture soon after re-joining as a direct result of the earlier contact. And, when the damage turned out to be brake-related, the car’s day was done.
“It’s amazing that only a week after coming through 24 hours at the Nordschleife without a scratch we’ve turned up here and barely lasted 60 minutes because of another driver,” a frustrated Primat recounted later. “And the fact it’s the second Blancpain Endurance Series race in a row where it’s happened obviously isn’t great either.
“We knew the car had more in it than our qualifying slot suggested and Vincent had already made good progress before the team’s brave strategy call to pit. You never know for sure how these things will shake out but it looked very promising. It’s just one more reason to feel bitterly disappointed.
“Two DNFs in as many races mean we’re now fighting for good individual results rather than the championship. We’ll re-focus our efforts on achieving that ahead of the next round.”
A first opportunity to prove the car’s potential will come at Paul Ricard in France on June 19/20.