Summary of Winter Series, Paul Ricard

Neil Garner Motorsport showed a glimpse of potential for the 2011 season at the Le Castellet circuit this weekend with the Formula Le Mans prototype.
The team's first event of the year started Sunday morning with free practice, which enabled the drivers to familiarise themselves  with the car and set a fast time of 1:27:243, impressive for the first run.
Qualifying followed soon after, where the drivers John Hartshorne and Steve Keating managed to secure 8th place on the grid for the three races of the afternoon: the two sprint races and the endurance race.
The Oreca FLM09 prototype was driven by John during the first race, and 30 minutes later scored an incredible 6th place finish and 2nd in class.
These pleasing results continued through the afternoon, especially after a tough second sprint race, where Steve finished in 8th place.
For the endurance race, the team were disappointed to learn they had to start at the back of the grid, despite qualifying 8th. The reasons for the demotion unknown, the team looked ahead to succeed in the final race of the day, as Steve took the first stint of the 45 minutes. Right from the start he showed great speed, as he climbed position, and had secured 2nd place just before the driver change. John entered the car with about twenty minutes left, only five places being lost after the pit stop due to a drive through penalty; bringing the car home in 7th position overall, 3rd in class.
The podiums followed, and the team celebrated as the trophies were presented, the first for the 2nd place finish in the prototype class in one of the sprint races, the second for coming 3rd in class for the endurance race.

All the hard work over the winter to build a strong team and obtain solid results became apparent this weekend. Now the team prepare for the pre season Le Mans Series tests, starting on the 11th March, where they hope to continue in the same style of this weekend.

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