Alex Kapadia was in action at the famous Imola circuit in Italy last week when contesting the second round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series (ELMS), writes James Beckett.
The Vale racer was called into the Murphy Prototype team to share driving duties in the 4-Hours of Imola with Rob Garofall and Barrie Baxter in the team’s LMP3 car.
Problems during free practice, including clutch issues, prevented the trio establishing a great deal of data for the car, leaving Kapadia with some work by the time it was his turn to qualify.
Careful to conserve tyre wear ahead of the race, Kapadia was unable to push fully during qualifying, but performed well to place the car on the grid.
Garofall started the race and ran a strong opening stint, before Baxter took over for the mid section. Kapadia was handed the third stint, although it wasn’t long until heavy rain began to fall which made it impossible to remain on-track with slick tyres, and Kapadia had to return to the pits slowly to change onto wet-weather tyres. The heavy rain persisted, making track conditions difficult – although near the end of the race the circuit surface did begin to improve.
Kapadia said: “I would like to thank Murphy Prototypes for handing me the chance to race with them in Imola.
“We did experience some problems and then the weather wasn’t kind, but we all gained lots of experience and we could develop the car further.”
Kapadia raced in the 2015 Le Mans race and remains hopeful of a drive this year, adding: “At the moment all of the seats seem to be taken or are difficult to find, but I haven’t given up hope of being able to line-up.
“There may be an option to race in the LMP3 ‘Road To Le Mans’ race if I am unable to secure a drive in the actual Le Mans 24-Hours. Obviously that is my aim, especially after such an experience last year, but if that is not possible, a race in one of the event’s support races is the next best option.”