Mathieu Jaminet described the series of events that led to his GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R sliding out of a promising position at the Nürburgring 3 Hours as “really bad luck”.
Jaminet, Earl Bamber and Matt Campbell qualified third on the grid for round four of the Fanatec GTT World Challenge powered by AWS Endurance Cup season but their car’s potential only amounted to a third retirement of the year.
A slow opening pit stop due to another car blocking Bamber’s entry meant that GPX was running fifth after the first safety car ended midway through the final hour, with Jaminet chasing Arthur Rougier’s No. 114 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini for fourth place.
But just over 25 minutes from the end, Jaminet spotted Rougier getting out of shape into the Schumacher S whilst encountering a backmarker, giving the GPX car “nowhere to go” except the dirty outside line which resulted in the Porsche factory driver sliding off-track.
“After the safety car, we were maybe in for the top four or three, depending on how the race would have played out,” said Jaminet, who was on used tires for his final stint.
“But then I had the incident, which was a misjudgment from my side. It was bad luck because everything started with a lapped car that fought Rougier and more or less sent him off.
“In front of us I had the No. 159 Aston Martin closing doors and fighting Rougier for position. They were going up the hill together and door to door.
‘The Aston just moved into him and basically sent [Rougier] off, but it was a lapped car.
“I just saw him going off so I just took the normal racing line, but he basically managed the corner more or less and came back, so we were side by side.
“I tried to brake and leave him space on the inside, because if I closed the door we would have just touched and spun off. But I had to leave him room.
“I didn’t want to overtake him on purpose, I was just there. I did not have much else to do.”
Jaminet explained that the incident was compounded by the fact that Antonio Fuoco’s No. 71 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 had nosed into the barriers at the same location only a few moments beforehand.
The GPX Porsche struck the reversing Ferrari as Fuoco tried to return to the track following his solo spin through the Schumacher S.
Fuoco continued back to the pits despite two instances of contact, while the Porsche was unable to continue with the damage it picke up including a dislodged rear wing.
“It was really bad luck because the Ferrari was running backwards to try to get out of the gravel,” said Jaminet.
“I touched the Ferrari. If it was not for the Ferrari I would have just gone through the gravel and grass and come back on track. But it was rolling backwards and I was coming through.
“I hit with my rear left because I spun the front and was going sideways. I just touched him on the rear wing with my rear-left side.”
Jaminet added that GPX Racing “needs to turn things around” at the 3 Hours of Barcelona season finale next month after failing to finish at the two most recent Endurance races.
The No. 22 crew seized the Endurance Cup points lead by winning the Paul Ricard 1000km but problems at Spa and the Nürburgring have made that success a distant memory.
Jaminet felt that GPX made “good steps” throughout the Nürburgring weekend and managed the Porsche’s tire degradation during the race to the best of its ability.
“We knew that in the colder qualifying conditions we would be strong, because this is always the strongest point of the Porsche, especially on a track where we have been successful in the past,” he said.
“We knew that we would have some degradation in the day because we saw this on Saturday. And it was the same in the race: we saw Earl driving a really good stint but not keeping up with the first two cars.
“We did our best in the race. We had bad luck in the pit stop and maybe made a wrong call, so we lost 10 seconds which dropped us behind the [HRT] Merc and the [No. 114] Lambo.
“We were stuck behind the Lambo and from there on it went to me and the crash. It’s not how we wanted to end up, but sometimes it’s like that.”