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Wayward Rival Ends Paul Ricard Race Early For Bird

Monday, May 31, 2021

Frank Bird’s hopes of another strong showing in the Fanatec GT World Endurance Cup Europe powered by AWS were scuppered early when a rival’s spinning car caused damage to the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS and put the Cumbrian and his two teammates out of the race.

 


 

 

21-year-old Penrith-born Frank was contesting the Paul Ricard 1000km race at the iconic track in the French region of Provence along with regular Japanese driver Ryuichiro Tomita and for this weekend, Dane Valdemar Eriksen.

 

The weekend started well for the #31 car when they qualified on the 13th row of the grid containing a massive 47 cars for the six-hour race which started on Saturday evening. Frank made up a few places at the start but on lap 13, he was the innocent victim of a rival’s mistake which clipped the rear of Bird’s Audi, damaging the suspension.

 


 

Forced into the pits for a very long repair as a result, Tomita later tried to continue but after a few laps it became apparent the damage was too severe and the team retired the car meaning they couldn’t add to the second and fourth place finishes in the Silver Cup class from earlier rounds.

 

Frank Bird: “Unfortunately, we had to retire because of a heavy impact from a spinning car that collected me. Before that, we had made a good start and made up some positions before another contact. It was not the best weekend, we struggled a little, but worked hard with the team and my teammates and recovered well, but we didn’t get to

show it with a good result.”

 

  • Frank’s efforts now turn to tomorrow’s opening round of the British Rally Championship where he will be in action in the PBM-supported and Aico-backed Ford Fiesta R5 at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Along with co-driver Jack Morton, the pair also lead the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship with MSVR which also comprises a round.

 


 
 

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