The team demonstrate front-running pace at Le Mans
Any 24-Hour race is a real challenge for any team and the 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans proved to be no exception for Team Project 1 x Inception Racing as the crew retired with just over 7 hours left on the clock.
Fielding the #56 Porsche RSR-911 run by Inception Racing in conjunction with Team Project 1, Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy and Ben Barnicoat took part in the pre-event test the Sunday preceding the race, giving them plenty of confidence heading into Wednesday’s Practice and Qualifying sessions.
Ben took practice Qualifying duties on Wednesday evening, putting in an incredible performance to record the eighth-fastest time in class.
For the first time in three years, fans entered the stadium to witness the start of the prestigious event and with Ben on starting duties for the trio, he made no issues climbing up through the field, steering clear of trouble before coming in to cycle through the first pitstop to Brendan.
Lengthy periods of trouble-free running followed, allowing the team to cycle through changes between Brendan and Ben, with the latter moving up to fifth within class before once again changing over to Brendan who remained in the car for the rest of Saturday’s daylight running before Ollie made his race debut minutes before 23:00.
Again, it was a trouble-free run for Ollie for his night-time stint, with only minor contact from the #30 Team Oreca LMP2 Pro-Am car causing a slight disturbance to the team’s race.
From this point, hopes of a podium finish were in sight as both Ben and Ollie showed their pace, catching up the leaders within class as the sun-rose before the latter pitted to hand control back over to Brendan whilst running in third position.
However, 30 minutes into his stint and with just over seven hours to go, a crash into the barrier saw the #56 retire from the race. Whilst not the result the team aimed for; it was still a tremendous effort from all concerned.
Meanwhile, in round 3 of the Michelin Le Mans Cup, Alex Mortimer and Mark Crader crossed the line P28 in Thursday’s race, with a 15th place finish in Saturday morning’s round 4.
Ollie Millroy, #56 WEC Driver
“It’s absolutely gutting. After fighting all night long doing 6 out of 9 hours in the car, we were running in third position and within touching distance of the win with strategy on our side, but a small mistake from Brendan led to a big accident, taking us out of the race with 7 hours to go.”
Bas Leinders, Team Manager
“It was obviously disappointing that we couldn’t continue with the race. We’re not too sure what happened, but we saw that he [Brendan] braked and pulled off to the left but yeah, that meant it was over and out for us. It’s a shame as all the drivers were going really well.”