Questions and answers – The end of an era

On his Facebook page, Franck takes questions from his fans and answers them. I’m not sure how long it’s been going on, because I don’t like Facebook very much and I’m annoyed that it’s the only place FKM seems to exist anymore.

However, in this month’s Q&A, there are some startling (to me) revelations!

Give or take dodgy translations:

How are your baby already? It’s not too hard to get away from him?

My daughter is going very well thank you …. and I am never far from her, believe me!

WHAT!!!!

Can’t believe I didn’t know Mr F had a daughter.

I am going to admit it, finally, that I can no longer blog about FKM. It’s not because he has a child, and therefore kidnapping him seems more unfair than it did before, but because I find it impossible to keep track of him.

After three years, just over 150 posts, a couple of sightings from afar, an email from the man himself, months of silence, race appearances that I never watch, and my always forgetting his birthday, it has come to an end.

I’ll always heart you, Franck, but now I’m just going to do it a bit more quietly.

Video of the 2011 Spa 1000k race

A great video of highlights from the race this weekend. Plenty of dramatic music, some Eau Rouge action, and even a Michelin Man or two.

Fun Franck-spotting as well. I particularly like the helmet shot at the beginning of the race, and the champagne afterwards.

I may have misjudged him, as it seems FKM was happier than I first thought. Yay!

Peugeot (but not Franck) win 1000k of Spa

After all that worry, Franck came second:

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  LMP1   Gene/Wurz/Davidson            Peugeot 908        6h02m03.799s
 2.  LMP1   Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian   Peugeot 908           + 42.965s
 3.  LMP1   Capello/Kristensen/McNish     Audi R18 TDI            + 1 lap

I didn’t watch much, if any, of the race, but that seems rather incredible. From 50th to 2nd? Still, everyone said it was a long race, and I guess it must have been so.

As usual, Franck was his incredibly happy self:

“My stint was complicated because I had to overtake a lot of people. I couldn’t drive at the same pace as the other due to the traffic and I used up the tyres quite a bit, so the balance was odd at the end of the stint.”

Hmm. If it ain’t a win for Mr M, then it just isn’t good enough.

However, there was a smile at the end of the race when he gave teammate Sarrazin a quick squeeze.

A podium, a smile, and still a little bit of stubble. Can’t ask for more than that from a Franck weekend.

The Number 8 fails to qualify

So, this happened:

48.  GTE P  Ortelli/Makowiecki            Luxury Racing Ferrari        2m27.098s
49.  GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson                 Krohn Ferrari                2m28.677s
50. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian Peugeot 908 no time
51.  LMP1   Belicchi/Boullion             Rebellion Lola-Toyota          no time

Peugeot were trying to be tactical, leaving it late before attempting a flying lap. And then there was an accident and red flags and Sarrazin didn’t set a time.

Boo.

Just boo.

People say it’s a long race and Franck is starting and he’ll overtake half the field on the first lap anyway, but still, it’s not as good as starting in the top five, is it?

Audi super fast in Spa

Two practice sessions complete, with the results looking a bit like this.

Practice 1

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time
 1.  LMP1   Capello/Kristensen/McNish     Audi R18 TDI    2m03.844s
 2.  LMP1   Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller   Audi R18 TDI    2m04.054s
 3.  LMP1   Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud        Peugeot 908     2m04.217s
 4.  LMP1   Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer     Audi R18 TDI    2m05.329s
 5. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian Peugeot 908 2m05.392s

Practice 2

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time
 1.  LMP1   Fassler//Treluyer/Lotterer    Audi R18 TDI           2m03.124s
 2.  LMP1   Capello/Kristensen/McNish     Audi R18 TDI           2m04.361s
 3.  LMP1   Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller   Audi R18 TDI           2m04.405s
 4.  LMP1   Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud        Peugeot 908            2m05.472s
 5.  LMP1   Lapierre/Duval/Panis          ORECA Peugeot 908...   2m06.962s
 6.  LMP1   Gene/Wurz/Davidson            Peugeot 908            2m07.150s
 7.  LMP1   Amaral/Pla                    Quifel-ASM Zytek       2m07.543s
 8. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian Peugeot 908 2m08.547s

The second practice session came to an end when Pedro Lamy smashed up the other Peugeot. Boy am I glad that he’s not sharing with Franck this weekend. Although they were faster than FKM’s car in both practices, which isn’t so great.

And now, drum roll please, Franck speaks!

“I was surprised. It’s strange because the car does not look fast. It looks fat, not like the Peugeot. It’s as if we’re racing in two different categories. The Audi looks more steady and it’s maybe because they’re using the tyres better. The problem we have today is making the parts of the car work together; getting the tyres, aero, engine all doing the right thing. Our sweet spot is very narrow.”

More tomorrow!

Time for the 2011 1,000km Spa

Well, my goodness, it’s time for more racing, is it?

The 1,000km of Spa takes place this weekend, with two practice sessions today. There’s another practice on Friday, plus qualifying, and then the race itself gets underway on Saturday. There’s a great timetable here, with what I assume are local times.

Franck is in the number 8 once again, and teamed up with Stéphane Sarrazin and Nicolas Minassian (phew, Lamy is in the other car!) There’s a list of entrants here.

Good luck Mr Montagny.