Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lightning leads after first qualifying round at e-Power/TTXGP Le Mans joint race

As I noted the other day, the Barracuda Lightning Motorcycles Racing team has gone to Le Mans for the e-Power/TTXGP race.  As expected the teams rider, Miguel Duhamel, is at the top of the results sheet for todays practice round, beating Matthias Himmelmann of Muench Racing.  Why expected?  Because of how far back Himmelmann finished behind the Lightning bikes at the Laguna Seca race.

At Laguna Seca, Himmelmann finished the race 16.325 seconds behind Michael Barnes on the Barracuda Lightning #80, and had a best lap time 1.927 seconds slower.  With a top-notch rider like Duhamel, the Lightning race bike should perform just as well as if Barnes were riding, and I expected that Lightning would win over Himmelmann/Muench again.

Miguel Duhamel

The results were:

#1, Barracuda Lightning, Miguel Duhamel, 1:49.200 best lap, 137.802 km/hr
#2, Muench Racing, Matthias Himmelmann, 1:50.834 best lap, 135.771 km/hr
#3, Zongshen Racing, Ho Chi-Fung, 2:05.431 best lap, 119.970 km/hr
#4, Muench Racing, Katja Poensgen, 2:05.677 best lap, 119.736 km/hr

Additionally three racers are shown as "Not classified" as being slower than the qualification time of 2:18.186 best lap time.

#5,, Christian Amendt, 2:18.754 best lap, 108.451 km/hr
#6, Zongshen Racing, Tang Yu, 2:30.469 best lap
#7, Zongshen Racing, David Dumain, no stats listed

I don't know if this means these riders have no chance to qualify tomorrow or not.  The FIM e-Power series follows a qualification rule that, in essence, requires bikes to be within a given speed percentage of each other.  The three bikes name fell below that percentage.  Todays race is described as "first qualifier" so perhaps they'll be allowed a second chance in the second qualifier tomorrow.

Christian Amendt "was held up by problems with his electric motor".

Tang Yu "was stymied by a crash".

David Duhamel, is also driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and "fell in the qualifiers and was unable to take part in the first e-Power practice session."

Miguel Duhamel, 17 – Lightning Barracuda Racing Team

« I am pretty satisfied with my qualifying, said Miguel Duhamel, but I could have done better. I spent the last three years on my couch and I need to give myself a bit of a shake to get back into a competitive frame of mind. The motorcycle is going well and I am sure I shall be faster tomorrow. »

Matthias Himmelmann, 49 - Munch Racing TT

« After our big problems in Oschersleben, I am really pleased with this qualifier. I lapped in 1’50 compared to 1’52 last year. This weekend is very important as it will decide both the e-Power and TTXGP championship titles. »

The second qualifying round will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, with the race proper at 4:35 PM on Friday.


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