WEC PORTIMÃO

WEC PORTIMÃO

From the American sun to the Portuguese sun: the second round of this years World Endurance Championship was due to be held at the beautiful Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. After Juan Manuel missed the first round, he was back for the second race to accompany myself and Filip in the number 9 Prema Racing car.

It seemed clear from the get-go that we would be in contention for the podium spots. In practice we got a Prema 1-2 with our sister car, but in Qualifying we had to settle for an eighth position. That was a bit of a bummer, as I was the one taking qualifying duties this time. One of our opponents blocked me in my fastest lap, which earned them a penalty. However – we didn’t get our lap back.

Starting P8, we had to work our way through the pack. Juan, who started, felt a high tyre degradation, what made us drop quite a bit. When I served a prearranged triple stint, I managed to drive around that tyre problem to bring our car back into contention.

I’m very happy with my own performance. Obviously I would have rather won the race than finishing in P6 like we eventually did, but endurance racing is unpredictable and rough. Because we got blocked in Qualifying, we had to settle for P8 on the starting grid and therefore already lost the connection to the front runners. The only thing I could do was race as fast as possible and keep the car out of trouble, in which I succeeded.

 

Don’t get me wrong: this is a team sport. Having said that, people record individual stint averages as well. It seems I clocked the fastest average laps of the entire Prema Racing squad, so that’s the #9 and #63 cars combined. That’s something I’m very proud of. My team mates are very professional and quick drivers, so the benchmark is set pretty high. This result gives me good hope for next races.

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