Fressingfield’s Garry Findlay claimed a top 10 finish in round two of the European Le Mans Series at Imola, as he made a promising debut in the hotly-contested LMP2 category.
Findlay joined fellow Briton Patrick McClughan and Ireland’s Sean Doyle in the young Murphy Prototypes team, stepping up from a brief stint in LMP3 to make his first appearance of the 2016 season in the four hour endurance event in Italy.
Despite not having any pre-event testing, the 26-year-old made a strong start to the weekend by posting top four times in practice but, while those results boded well for qualifying, he was frustrated to only manage 11th on the grid after finding himself caught up in traffic during the short timed session.
Findlay took the wheel of the Oreca 03R for the start of the race on Sunday afternoon and had restored the patriotically-green Murphy entry to a more appropriate sixth overall after only two laps, despite the track having been washed clean of grip by a massive overnight storm.
It was not a perfect run for Findlay, as he needed to replace a damaged nose section during his first pit-stop, but he eventually completed a 100-minute double stint behind the wheel, recovering to 11th on the road by the time he handed over to fellow debutant McClughan.
While McClughan also made progress during his stint, a second change of nose dropped the team back to the fringes of the top 10 by the time he handed over to Doyle, and then the weather gods conspired against the Murphy team, with another deluge necessitating the use of the safety car for the remainder of the Irishman’s stint.
As a result, the trio were restricted to 10th place at the chequered flag, which would have been a notable result had it not been for the potential shown by the team earlier on.
“The team were happy with my performance throughout the weekend, so I’ll keep working on any opportunity that comes my way,” Findlay said.
“Now I know what it takes to hustle an LMP2 car, I hope I get the chance to drive one again as soon as possible.”