12 Hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race 2010 – A Photo Journal Part 2 : Life in the Pit Lane

For the 2nd part the of the 12 Hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race 2010 photo journal, we take a look at the action from the pit lane an hour before daylight.

Kencana Racing Team mechanics tried to fix the Porsche 997 RSR and get it back out on track again, but to no avail as the mechanical problem proved terminal thus forcing them to retire the car.

Petronas Syntium Team race directors monitoring the situation and decides on what is the best strategy and when to call the car in for their pitstop.

As soon as the call was made, a few laps later the BMW Z4M pitted and it was business as usual for the pit crews.

Marco Werner waiting for his turn at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS before another Audi pitstop.

Darryl O’Young steps out of the car after finishing a stint of long runs in the Audi R8 LMS.

Pitstop win races. If you ever watch the film titled ‘Truth in 24′, which reviewed how Audi won the Le Mans 24 Hour in 2008, you’ll know why.

The movie ‘Truth in 24′ gave an interesting insights into the world of endurance racing through the eyes of Audi key personnel, team members and their drivers. Howden “H” Haynes, Audi’s race engineer of the winning car no.2 driven by the pairing of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello once said in the movie, “It’s not rocket science. You can spend millions of pounds developing a car to get a tenth, but you can lose 5, 10 more seconds every pitstop. So, you know, simple math isn’t it?”. Definitely.

A pitstop needs to be executed with a clockwork precision. A single mistake from the pit crews involved and everything collapses. Arrows Racing’s pit crews (above) put in a perfect demonstration of a clockwork pitstop that enables them to take the win this year. As soon as the car stops, two gunmen carried the front tyres with them and place it right besides the left and right front wheel. 2 more crews carry the rear tyres and places it besides the left and right rear wheel. A crew with a fire extinguisher stands by if anything happens. The first one to the car is fuel man. As soon as the driver, in this case Christopher Haase is out of the car, refueling begins.

The rules for the 12 Hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race stated that only 6 people are allowed to touch the car at one time including the drivers and nobody can touch the car under refueling except for the fuel man. In the case of Arrows Racing’s Lamborghini LP560, 2 fuel man. The Lamborghini LP560 is quite unique when it comes to refueling because two fuel man were needed instead of the usual one like the LKM Racing’s Porsche 997 Cup S (below).

As soon as the refueling is done, the driver and tyre change takes place.

And just in a blink of an eye, before you know it, the car were out again for another stint of long runs under the dark sky. No matter how fast the pitstop is, watching the car stands still must have felt like forever for all the crews, key personnel and the drivers when you consider that there are cars running at some 300 kph along the front straight.

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