News

12.05.12 Conquest Endurance Finishes Second After Exciting Battle For The Lead

LS1_1627

Monterey, California – May 12, 2012 – Conquest Endurance scored its second runner-up finish in a row today at the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron in what turned out to be a wild and nail-biting six-hour race.  After starting dead last due to a mechanical failure before qualifying, the Conquest drivers and crew put on an impressive performance and managed to climb through the field to eventually fight for the lead, before being forced to settle for second after a late race gearbox issue.

 

David Heinemeier Hansson started the race at the back of the grid and was faced with the difficult task of trying to reel in his competitors in the P2 category while climbing through the GT field in the narrow and tricky Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track.  The Finnish driver wasted no time and after only 30 minutes of racing he found himself third in class and fifth overall.  Throughout the rest of his stint he continued to chase the leaders but had to pit a few laps earlier than expected due to a puncture at the 1h40min mark, he then handed the controls over to Martin Plowman who took over the Conquest machine.

 

Plowman, who made his first ever start at Laguna Seca, continued to set a quick pace and had a successful and trouble free 2h2min stint in which he managed to pick up another position and handed the car to Pizzonia in second.  The Brazilian driver put on an exciting show in his first ever sportscar race trading the lead back and forth with Franck Montagny several times in an intense on track battle.

 

With less than an hour to go in the race Pizzonia pitted to hand the car back to Heinemeier Hansson who still needed to complete his minimum driving time in order to score points.  As soon as Heinemeier Hansson left the pits he reported a problem with the gearbox and came straight back in for further inspection.  The Conquest crew managed to quickly identify the problem and repair it but the time lost effectively ended any possibilities to continue fighting for a win, forcing the team to settle for their second runner-up finish in as many races in the ALMS.

 

After a break during the month of June in which many of the teams and drivers of the ALMS, including Heinemeier Hansson, will travel to Europe for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Conquest Endurance team will compete in the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix which will take place June 6-7 at Lime Rock Park.

 

David Heinemeier Hansson

Driver

#37 Conquest Endurance / Morgan / Nissan Dunlop

“It was quite a rollercoaster of a weekend, for a while we thought we wouldn’t even able to take the start but the team worked miracles overnight and put the car back together in one piece.  We really had a great race, I had a lot of fun carving my way up from the back of the grid and I think given all the circumstances we were amazingly competitive and were so close at the end.  I think considering everything that happened this weekend we have to be very happy with where we ended up.”

 

 

Martin Plowman

Driver

#37 Conquest Endurance / Morgan / Nissan Dunlop

it was a bittersweet day, we were fighting for a win there until we had a gearbox issue and ended up finishing second but the fact that we even made it on the grid just shows the determination and professionalism of this team.  At Long Beach we were very disappointed because we couldn’t win it but here I think we are all very happy that we were able to take points away from the #055 car, we still have to keep fighting hard and doing a good job and I have no doubt that our first win will come soon.”

 

Antonio Pizzonia

Driver

#37 Conquest Endurance / Morgan / Nissan Dunlop

“It was a really good experience today, we nearly didn’t make the grid but the team did a great job fixing the broken part from yesterday.  It was really good fun, it’s a long race but you are really driving on the limit the whole time, every lap is a qualifying lap and you really have to push hard which makes it a lot of fun.  I really had a good time, unfortunately we had the gearbox problem at the end but its still great to finish second, I’m very happy.”