Michelin Le Mans Cup
Rd.3, Monza, Race Report
Free Practice: Thursday and Friday.
Thursday was disrupted by the weather conditions sadly. Our morning session saw team mate Antoine Doquin, do the bulk of the running, with no afternoon particpation for the team due to the bad conditions. Friday however, we completed FP1 and FP2 . FP1 went very well both myself and my team mate, having very good pace and with the car feeling very good to drive and we ultimately ended the session in P2. FP2 focussed on the race pace, with heavy fuel loads and longer runs. We ended the free practice session P2 overall, with everything looking positive heading into race day on Saturday.
Qualifying would take place Saturday lunchtime. My team mate managed to put together a good lap – on the very last lap – of a messy qualifying session which was interrupted by several red flags. The two hour race would start at 5 o’clock local time in Monza, and we were confident we could pull out a good result from this weekend, even though we had to serve a twenty second penalty in the pit stop because of the bronze driver penalty. Antoine got off to a good start and maintained his position. There were several safety cars and Full Course Yellows (FCY’s) which hurt us as the gaps were automatically back down to nothing every time the race was interrupted. Not long before the end of his stint, a following driver misjudged his braking into T1, hitting straight into the side of our car causing a large amount of damage. Luckily we were able to continue and didn’t loose to much time.
At the 50 minute mark I jumped in the car for the final 1 hr 10 minutes of the race. There was a big amount of damage to the car which made it pretty tricky to drive, and also there was part of the damaged bodywork covering the windscreen hindering my view. All being considered, our pace was still pretty good. I managed to gain several of the positions that we had lost due to the extra time required in the pitstop, and were running in P3 until the final 10 minutes of the race. I came in for the final pitstop, and just after I made the stop a FCY came out and I lost a huge amount of time. We eventually crossed the finishing line in P8, however, a podium was definitely on the cards. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of Cool Racing and everyone else involved, and now we switch our full focus over to Rd4 at Le Mans at the end of August.