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ByKolles Set to Return After Fire in Free Practice

ByKolles confident of making Thursday qualifying after fire in Free Practice…


Photo: John Dagys

ByKolles Racing is confident of making the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans after its CLM P1/01 AER caught fire in Free Practice on Wednesday.

Director of Operations Boris Bermes revealed that the cause of the fire was a leaking fuel pump, which subsequently ignited.

After making repairs to the bodywork, wiring looms, gearbox, engine and floor during Qualifying 1, Bermes is confident that the team will return to the track in time to complete their mandatory qualifying laps.

“We’re preparing the car in the way for the race, everything is new,” he told Sportscar365.

“For now, we have enough spare parts, but we’re a bit more handicapped. It will be maximum attack for the race.”

Pierre Kaffer was in the car when it ground to a halt exiting the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight.

It was the German driver’s heroics, who quickly took off the engine cover to help extinguish the fire, that resulted in less damage than what it could have been.

“It was quite sudden, I was very surprised,” Kaffer told Sportscar365.

“At the same moment, the engine stopped and I just pushed the clutch and was happy to reach the spot where the marshals were. Then I tried to do my best to get the fire under control.

“I’m really happy that the boys are able to get everything back together that we can race. Otherwise, I think our race would have been over [if the damage was more severe].

“We’re operating with a different budget than other teams. For such a small team, everyone has their job now and everyone is here to put the car back together.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

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