Algarve Pro Racing has spent much of the first quarter of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans inside the top ten with the #25 ORECA 07 LMP2 of Simon Trummer, John Falb and Matt McMurry, although the #16 G-Drive Racing by Algarve entry has had a troubled start.
While the early phase of Le Mans week was about installation laps, Algarve Pro focused on race preparation with both the #16 G-Drive Racing entry and the #25 Goodyear / BRM Chronographes-liveried machine throughout free practice.
An issue with the #16 AURUS 01’s brakes kept Nick Tandy, Oliver Jarvis and Ryan Cullen on the side-lines for much of FP2, but the G-Drive Racing trio returned to the racetrack for Qualifying and worked hard to make up for lost time during the hours of darkness in FP3.
The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans began at 14:30 CET – earlier than the traditional 15:00 start-time – and a sensational launch saw Trummer go from 15th to tenth, with Jarvis in the #16 G-Drive Racing by Algarve machine nipping at his heels.
A fuel tank issue ultimately forced Jarvis to abandon the fight, leaving Trummer to fend off the advancing #38 JOTA car until the first driver-change, when he passed the baton to American Am Falb, who stayed within the top ten during a stellar double stint.
Former Le Mans winner Tandy did well to recover some of the ground lost to the fuel tank issue, edging back into the top ten, before an inspired decision to switch him for Ryan Cullen with a slow zone in place gave the #16 crew another leg up.
Unfortunately, a spin resulted in contact with another LMP2 car, and Cullen was forced back to the pits for an unscheduled repair stop, but swift work by G-Drive Racing by Algarve’s mechanics ensured the car re-entered the fray.
McMurry was faultless during his first race stint in the #25 ORECA, running in a solid 13th before passing control back to Trummer, while #16 tried to improve on its position in the mid-pack.
John Falb (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07 LMP2): “Our race is going pretty well. Simon (Trummer) did a fantastic job at the start, then I got in the car. I struggled a little but managed to maintain us in the top ten. Now we’re sitting 13th, still within reach of the top ten, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car.”