Today, a mechanical problem which appeared on the steering column of the Zytek 09S belonging to the Quifel ASM Team prevented the Portuguese driver Miguel Pais do Amaral from finishing the 2010 Le Mans Series opening race which took place on the French Paul Ricard circuit — a race which the Portuguese team lead during the initial phase.
It was not a happy weekend for the Quifel ASM Team which is defending the LMP2 class which it won last season. In addition to the steering fault which lead to the car pulling out in the final phase of the race, bad luck also knocked on the team’s door when the Zytek 09S, which was being driven by Miguel Pais do Amaral, was hit in the rear by another competitor leading to a lengthy pit stop to repair the damage and to a loss of a number of laps to other faster teams.
Quifel ASM Team manager, Mauricio Pinheiro, said that “It was a shame that we had steering problems because Olivier Pla was doing very well and was also recovering positions in the final phase of the race”. According to Mauricio Pinheiro, the Paul Ricard race had confirmed that the current championship was extremely competitive, with a large balance between various teams, even though the Strakka Racing team’s car displayed some supremacy at this time, mainly due to its Honda engine.
For Antonio Simões, director of the Quifel ASM Team, the race was actually going well until then, justifying the correct choice of the tyres with a hard compound as they allowed the team to gain time in the early pit stops and also even to take the lead: “The car was a bit difficult to drive but the drivers were fantastic and, if we hadn’t run into some bad luck, we would surely have ended the race with a place on the podium”, states Simões, who predicts this will be a close championship and believes that the team’s Zytek 09S can quickly evolve, assuring them higher levels of reliability.
An opinion which is shared by Miguel Pais do Amaral: “This is a fantastic championship and we won’t always be unlucky”.