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Le Mans Series 2007
Round 2. Monza 1000 Kilometers. April 13th-15th 2007

Race Start Hour 2 Hours 3-4 Hour 5

During the race itself, "live" coverage was supplied here on the website, with updates and news of significant events being posted almost as soon as they happened on the track. Subsequently, these notes became the basis for the full report featured on the main Monza Race Report, but for the sake of record, they have been retained here for reference.

Race Start

The race started at 13:04 local time, and is one of the few this year that is expected to each its 1000 kilometre target, provided the exceptional weather holds.

A blistering start from Moseley in the Bruichladdich Radical, who squeezes through into the lead of LMP2 along the start straight, and into the first chicane. Tommy second, with Horag Lola third, then Embassy Radical, Binnie Lola, and #35 Courage sixth.

Barazi Epsilon Zytek does not make the start after a fuel leak is detected. The team attempt a repair, but fail to have the car ready within the first hour, and are thereby excluded from starting the race.

By the end of lap 1, the Radical has fallen way back, after problems with the turbo. It manages to complete the second lap, and then pits.

Erdos through into the lead of LMP2 befoe the end of the first lap.

At the back, the ASM Lola is making rapid progress through the tail-end, after its last-place start. Two others; Rollcentre Pescarolo and Pilbeam also did, plus Chad Panoz.

End lap 2
Tommy leads from #27 and then #35

Lap 3
Tommy pulling away steadily.
Binnie Lola is 4th in class.

Lap 4
Tommy tenth overall, leading P2 from Horag Lola and then #35 Courage, with Binnie some way back.

No sign of the Embassy Radical? Pulled off after the first lap with gearbox problems.

Tommy seems to be easing away steadily, but the ASM Lola is making powerful strides through the pack.

TE still well ahead in P2, from Horag and then Courage #35. Binnie is dropping back. Elsewhere, the two Pugs lead comfortably over the Charouz Lola. The Lavaggi is running surprisingly well, and is having a personal battle with the Rollcentre Pescarolo, Barbosa at the wheel, who has moved through more than half the field after its difficult start.

The ASM Lola is up to 5th in P2, but a significant distance back on Tommy.

Embassy back on track. Downshift electronics causing gear selection problems. Rejoins immediately in front of Tommy, who passes easily on the exit of the first chicane.

Tommy has the Rollcentre P1 on his tail.

Overall, the Peugeots dominate, with Charouz still third.

Rollcentre LMP1 Pescarolo passes Tommy. He has a lead over the Horag car of roughly 17 seconds, with #35 third, and then the ASM Lola, which passes the #35 Courage at about 1:35

No sign of Binnie? Water leak, apparently. Both Radicals absent.

Safety car is deployed while Aston Martin is recovered following lost wheel/barrier incident.

Binnie is back out.
Takes some while for the SC to pick up the leader, but everyone bunches up all the same. Tommy’s lead disappears, but Binnie car has rejoined, between Horag Lola and ASM.


Tommy has the #35 Courage on his tail, but not for position.

Both Radicals back out on track, but briefly.

Tommy pits for fuel and tyres, but stays in the car for a second stint.

Horag Lola #27 also pits.

ASM Lola #40 takes lead, but pits on the following lap. It gets back out ahead of the Horag car, and is now second in P2, behind Tommy.

Tommy still leads P2, ninth overall, from de Castro and Van de Poele in the #27. The gap is 10.7 seconds.

Tommy moves through to 5th overall, leading LMP2 by almost 30 seconds.
He then does his fastest first two sectors of the circuit before diving down the pitlane to hand over to Mike Newton.

Newton into the car, and heads back out without problem. He rejoins in 8th overall, second in P2 behind de Castro.

De Castro pits from the class lead, to hand over to Amaral, and Newton regains the lead. It extends to 30 seconds again as the pitstops unfold.

Mike Newton up to 6th overall now, behind Gareth Evans in the #19 Chamberlain Synergy Lola, LMP1. He is 36 seconds clear of Amaral in the #40 ASM Lola, with Horag #27 in third.

All three are on the same lap.

Mike is consistently setting lap times in the 1:44 or 1:45 bracket, sometimes quicker, depending upon traffic. The others are typically two seconds a lap slower.

The #35 Courage, 11th overall, is the last LMP2 car still in contention.

Gap to Amaral has grown to over 40 seconds, and Mike is also closing on Evans.

Gap has narrowed unexpectedly, and is now just 30 seconds. No, timing screen error, soon corrected.

Mike pits for fuel and tyres. Rejoins promptly.

Amaral pits with rear right wheel out of alignment. The car is quickly examined, and then hauled backwards into the garage. Horag Lola moves through into second in LMP2.

Mike Newton still leads LMP2, 8th place overall, heading the class by over a minute from Didier Theys, now at the wheel of the Horag Lola. The #35 Saulnier Racing Courage is third in class, but two laps down on Theys. The ASM Lola remains in the team garage while repairs are undertaken to the rear suspension.

Minassian is at the wheel of the #7 Peugeot 908, leading overall by two laps from Collard in the #16 Pescarolo.

Mike crosses the line to complete the MG's 100th lap. His lead in LMP2 is 1 minute 28 seconds.

#35 Courage has pulled off into the pits and lost six laps so far, and is still there - reason unknown, but still holding third in a much depleted class. Is this the return of the "fragile" days of LMP2? ASM Lola also remains in the pits, having now lost over ten laps since the suspension failed. Transpires it will not rejoin.

Embassy Radical woes continue, as Niel Cunningham eases to a halt out on the circuit. The engine has died.
At the same time, Mike Newton pits in the RML MG to hand back to Thomas Erdos. Once again, a swift pitstop with no issues, and the car is rapidly back out onto the circuit. The Horag Lola takes the lead as a result, but has yet to make its next scheduled pitstop. The Binnie Motorsports Lola, which has had a somewhat troubled race so far, is also in the pits again, this time for a scheduled stop. It lies fifth in class, but 29th overall.

With stoppages for the #35 Courage and the #40 Lola, Simon Pullan in the Pierre Bruneau Pilbeam moves through into third position in LMP2, albeit 23rd overall. Theys continues to lead the class, 8th overall, from Thomas Erdos 9th. The gap between the two is holding pretty constant as they trade laptimes through the traffic.

4:30 - 4:32
Unscheduled pitstop for Thomas Erdos in the RML MG Lola (above), to remove debris from the radiator cooling ducts and check fluid levels. The rear of the car is rapidly removed to facilitate clearing the ducts, and then replaced. Tommy remains in the car, and is waved back onto the track within two minutes. He retains his position overall, although the gap to the Horag Lola extends.

Didier Theys pits the Horag Lola #27 from the LMP2 lead. Fuel and tyres, but no driver change. The red and white car soon rejoins, retaining the lead, but with a reduced advantage.
The Embassy Radical (formerly owned by Rollcentre) has not restarted, and Cunningham has been forced to abandon the car on the inside of Parabolica.

#19 Chamberlain Synergy Lola buried in the gravel. It's been a good run, up until now, for the yellow Lola, through to 3rd at one point, but currently 7th. It is likely that the LMP2 leaders will now pass the stricken car, which has been pulled back behind the barriers at Turn 13.

Both #27 and RML MG #25 go through ahead of the stationary Chamberlain Synergy Lola, inheriting 7th and 8th overall as a result. Theys still has an advantage of almost two laps over the MG after Tommy's additional stop to address the cooling issue.

Another pitstop for Thomas Erdos in the #25 MG. Full refuel, no new tyres, but top-up on coolant fluid. This should have been the final stop for the #25 car, if the rest of the racehad gone according to plan.

The gap between Erdos and the leading LMP2 car, the Horag Lola #25, stands at just on three laps, with the MG having made six stops to the Lola's four. Tommy's last lap was a 1:44.554, compared to a 1:46.273 from Theys.

The expected total number of laps for the Monza 1000 kilometres is 173. The leader; currently Marc Gene in the #7 Peugeot 908, has just completed his 142nd lap. That leaves an expected thirty laps remaining, at an average of 1 minute 40 seconds per lap (that being the typical pace being set by the front-runners at the moment) or about 50 minutes' racing. Bouillion in the #16 Pescarolo is lying second, just a lap adrift of the leading Peugeot.

Tommy makes an additional pitstop for fuel and a further top-up on the coolant. He rejoins still holding 8th overall.

#27 Horag Lola makes what is likely to be its final pitstop of the race. Just 20 laps remain.

Tommy continues to circulate strongly, consistently setting times in the low 1:44s, and occasionally dipping into the forty-threes. By doing so, he is steadily clawing back the deficit on the Horag Lola, but with three laps to recover, it now looks certain that only problems for the leader can prevent the Swiss team from securing a victory here at Monza.

The Binnie Motorsports Lola, #31, retains third in LMP2, running 23rd overall but 15 laps adrift.

Rollcentre Pescarolo pits from 6th position, and allows the #27 Lola through.

Yet another stop for Thomas Erdos in the #25 MG. This is the briefest of pauses while the coolant levels are checked and refilled, but further curtails the Brazilian's charge. His average lap times appear unaffected, however, so it must be hoped that the problem can be managed over the final five or six laps.

Chequered flag. Victory on its debut for the new Peugeot 908, with Marc Gene crossing the line at the end of 173 laps, one lap clear of the #16 Pescarolo, and the #8 Peugeot recovering after a troubled mid-section to finish third.

Class wins for the Horag Lola in LMP2, with the RML MG EX264 second, and the Binnie Motorsports Lola third. In GT1, victory to the #72 Corvette C6R of Luc Alphand from the #50 Aston Martin second and the #73 Corvette C5R third - so first and third for Luc Alphand, and some recompense for the team's traumatic Friday. Top honours in GT2 to the #97 GPC Motorsport Ferrari.

The full race report can be found here, and a gallery of high resolution images can be viewed here.