Norwich racer Matt Howson’s team battle Le Mans elements

Matt Howson in the pits at Le Mans. Matt Howson in the pits at Le Mans.

Thursday, June 26, 2014
6:30 AM

The Le Mans 24-hours is a punishing race with fortune and experience playing a large part in deciding the outcome – as Norwich’s Matt Howson found out.

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The local racer was part of the KCMG Oreca 03R Nissan driver line-up that had looked strong in the run-up after an exploratory year in 2013.

The Chinese team qualified a lowly seventh in the LMP2 category, frustrated they couldn’t show their real pace due to other accidents and caution periods.

“We were actually a little bit disappointed to have qualified seventh after being in the top three or four during the week,” reflected Howson. “The number of red flags and slow zones meant we probably didn’t have the optimum set-up for qualifying. However, the car will be good in race trim, which is much more important over a 24-hour race.”

Swiss racer Alex Imperatori started the Chinese entered car and showed the true pace of the Nissan powered car by taking the lead during a strong opening stint.

Richard Bradley then took over at the wheel but was immediately caught out by the fickle weather.

The seven-hour mark saw the car suffer a driveshaft failure, putting it out of the event for good.

“Obviously I am feeling very disappointed to have retired so early,” said Howson. “Once again KCMG showed race winning pace but lacked the necessary luck.”

n Carl Breeze had a highly competitive meeting at the recent Oulton Park round of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, pushing for victory in both events.

The King’s Lynn racer tried everything to displace race one winner Charlie Robertson but had to settle for second. In race two Breeze was sixth to ensure that along with United Autosports team-mate Luke Davenport, they still head the team’s championship.

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