Duncan Tappy takes Le Mans Series points at Monza with Rollcentre
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
LMP1: Qualified 13th Finished 7th
Duncan Tappy made his sportscar debut with a strong performance throughout the weekend. With the help of team owner Martin Short and the BRDC Superstars scheme Duncan stood in for Rollcentre regular driver Joao Barbosa who had other racing commitments. Despite not having driven the car before he impressed Martin and was put in charge of qualifying the car. With under 20 laps experience it was a tall order but Duncan but in a respectable time of 1:38.619 to qualify 13th in class.
Team-mate Vanina Ickx was tasked with starting the 1000km race and Duncan took over after her double stint at the one hour 45 minute stage. Duncan also raced a double stint, experiencing his first ever race pit- stop and his race in a car lasting longer than 25 minutes. Having started 13th in the Le Mans Prototype One (LMP1) Vanina and Duncan worked hard to put in lap after lap of solid times and were rewarded by a finish in a very creditable seventh place to earn two points for the Rollcentre team. At times they were running as high as fifth but Audi and Peugeot factory cars reclaimed top slots after earlier race difficulties.
The car performed impeccably. It was a textbook race for the Rollcentre squad. Dunlop tyres played their part standing up to the tough conditions. The race was filled with action and the consequent collisions added to the debris accumulating on the track but Duncan and Vanina avoided mishaps and kept their focus right to the chequered flag.
Martin Short, Rollcentre team owner, said: “Duncan was given a big task having never been to Monza, driven a car like this or driven this particular car at all. He went in and did the double stint, put in the fastest lap of the car and putting in a bloody good effort to get the car the third finishing petrol LMP which I’m really proud of. Hopefully his performance will put him on the radar of other sportscar teams out there.”
Duncan added: “That was awesome! It was different to anything I’ve done before but I felt very at home. I think I adapted to the car very well and while the racing was different to anything I’ve done before it was the same principle of driving as fast as possible. The traffic was a bigger element here and that’s where part of the skill comes in and it was great learning the new aspects that sportscar racing brings.
“Finishing in the points at such a historic circuit amongst such prestigious drivers was a great way to end my first sportscar racing experience. To be racing with and alongside ex-F1 drivers such as Allan McNish, Oliver Panis, Pedro Lamy and Marc Gené has been incredible and an inspiration for what I hope is a long term career in motorsport. I hope more opportunities come along like this and I appreciate how fortunate I’ve been having the support of Martin and the BRDC Superstars programme.”