Button accepts blame for first-lap clash

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Jenson Button said he only had himself to blame for the first-lap collision which ruined his race in Abu Dhabi.

“You make your own luck when you start down in 12th – where first-lap congestion is inevitable – and, sure enough, there was a little bit of argy-bargy into turn one,” Button reflected afterwards.

“I duly locked-up both my front tyres, couldn’t slow the car down sufficiently, and drove into the back of Paul [di Resta], which broke my front-wing end-plate.”

Button had to pit early on lap two, which was the third time in four races Button has suffered damage at the start of a race. “It’s a real pity to keep on having first-lap incidents,” he said, “especially when the car is working reasonably well now”.

“I’ve been in a similar situation for the past two races, and things haven’t really gone my way,” Button reflected.

“Still, I managed 44 laps on the prime [tire] – and, in terms of getting the most out of what we had, that felt positive.” That stint was the longest unbroken run by any driver during the race.

“All in all, given how far behind we were after lap two, to finish so close to tenth by the checker wasn’t so bad”.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.