Race 2 report - the night stint

It was John Sykes who took the wheel for the night stint in the Millers Oils and TR Register TR3S at Le Mans Classic 2016. It was in 2014 in the same car that John experienced night driving for the very first time and he'll happily admit to being thoroughly terrified by the initial experience.

That however all stood him on good stead for the solo effort ahead. The teams strategy at this point in the racing was to run John Sykes on his own, so instead of the compulsory driver change he would observe a timed stop during the pit in window.

The race got off to a slow start as only one lap in the safety car was called as the number 29 Lotus Elite of Fabrice Perruchot caught fire causing the driver to stop and require the marshall assistance to extinguish the flames.

The safety car remained out for a further two laps until John was able to get back into his stride and return to race pace.

The team all looking pretty tired out at this point as instead of managing to get a small amount of sleep in between races, they were required to work through the night to solve as many of the issues that cropped up in Race 1 before the flag was waved for the off at 3AM.

Running issues

On his last stint in Race 1 Chris Ryan had complained about a misfire at high - revs. After spending a lot of time checking the fuel system carefully it was discovered that the two fuel pumps were cavitating in the heat causing them to work against each other. A re-rotuig of some fuel line plumbing and the blocking of one of the lines saw this problem cured. With the temperatures on track still into the high 20 degrees C even at 3am heat has become a real issue. Chief mechanic Frank came up with an ingenious cure for the under bonnet heat by creating some ducting from the front grille by joining together several empty water bottles (there are plenty to hand) with their ends cut off to create a rigid pipe.

Elsewhere the number 8 Triumph TR3 of Frederic Berchon, Julien Brayard and Yann Leduc failed out on track with an as yet unknown fault and was recovered back to the paddock.

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Final result of Race 2

Overall John Sykes managed to hold position at 31 out of 53 finishers and still the highest placed Triumph in the race by quite a long chalk.

John managed a fastest lap of 6.09.130 with an average speed of 132.9km/h.

The next nearest Triumph TR was the numberĀ 71 of Stephane Guyot-Sionnest, Amaury Latahm and Franck Lagorce who finished some 30 seconds behind.

Keep watching the the live blog updates for a forthcoming interview with John Sykes and the footage from that rather scary Lotus Elite Fire.

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