Michelin Le Mans Cup
Portimao, Rd.6, 22nd October 2023
Last weekend Josh got the season finale underway for Le Mans Cup underway at Portimao with the Nielsen crew. After two days of testing in changeable conditions the team were looking strong in both dry and wet track conditions, so were hoping for a good result to finish off a difficult season on a high. Tony would be taking over the wheel of the 7 car for the all bronze qualifying, where a damp track would make things difficult, but he would lay down the 6th best lap time to give the pairing a solid position to start Sunday mornings race.
After a Safety Car start to the race due to wet conditions, Tony had held his position for the first few laps before slipping back to 8th. He would make those positions back in the later end of his stint to hand the car over to Josh in P5. After a great opening few laps Josh had terrific pace working his way up to P2 on the track, and quickly bringing the big gap down to the leader by several seconds a lap.
Around halfway into Josh’s stint there would be a FCY for an incident on the track, but with ever worsening rainfall the track conditions were becoming dangerous with too much standing water. Eventually they decided to call the race just under 20 minutes early, and with the lead car receiving a penalty for a FCY infringement earlier in the race, the Nielsen Racing duo crossed the line to take their first victory of the season in the finale.
Josh: “I was looking forward to getting back out in the car at Portimao, to put things right after a difficult season and end the year on a high. We had a few strong test sessions over the week, especially in the wet conditions. Tony did a great job in his qualifying session to give us a solid platform to work from for the race on Sunday morning. The race was looking to be very wet with ever worsening conditions.
Following on from his qualifying performance he did a strong stint to eventually hand the car over to me in P5. I had great pace initially and was able to climb up to P2 and was quickly bringing the gap down to the leader. After the FCY just over halfway through my stint, the conditions became super wet and visibility was near on nothing, so the stewards eventually called the race results.
A penalty for the lead car also meant we managed to pick up the victory. This is a great result for myself and the full team after the year we have had. I’m so happy to finally come away with a great result and what better time to do it. I would just like to say a big thank you to all of Nielsen Racing for all the hard work this year.”