Following Le Mans, it was time for the third round of the European Le Mans Series and this time it was off to Austria to the Redbull Ring, such an amazing place with spectacular scenery and huge mountains all around the track.
The team had good pace during the two practice sessions, even though they were carrying out fuel mileage simulations and different tyre strategies. It’s great to see all the effort which goes on in the background to make every little thing work and make a big difference, everyone works very hard behind the scenes.
During the weekend I was helping out with the Trend Micro guests who are one of Murphy Prototypes supporters, along with this I was helping out on the social media side of things. The team’s PR man was unable to be in Austria so I stepped in to keep him informed with reports on what was happening inside the garage, things he wouldn’t have heard about on the TV or on the live timing.
A little over a hour before the start of the race Nathanael Berthon started to feel unwell and went to the medical centre before beings brought to the hospital for further check ups. With Nathanael missing a new plan had to be put in place and it was agreed that Mark Patterson would do a double stint to start the race and Michael Lyons would do a treble stint to finish the race. Mark did a great job to finish his stint in 5th place before handing over to Michael who then did another fantastic job working his way to third with some great overtakes. While all this was going on I made my way to the local hospital, which was ten minutes away, to try and find Nathanael as he said he was just waiting on results from his blood tests. After a few minutes of asking the nurses where he was, they had no idea he was even there, I found him and we got back to the track to have him cleared to race in time to take over the Murphy Prototype car for the final forty minutes.
Nathanael was doing a good job but with ten minutes to go disaster struck, while he was overtaking a slower GT car it turned in on him. The LMP2 car was spun around and Nathanael couldn’t engage reverse which dropped the team to finish sixth. It turned out the GT car had been previously involved in a incident in which it lost its inside mirror and didn’t see the Murphy Oreca.
It was a very disappointing end to such a great recovery by everyone to overcome the earlier distractions and come back to third place. Everyone worked so hard from start to finish and it just goes to show you don’t always have to have the newest of cars, but that you do need the best team and that’s what Murphy Prototypes have.
Until the next time,