SUCCESSFUL RACE WEEKEND FOR RACING EXPERIENCE IN ZOLDER
Sunday, June 12, 2022, Zolder, Belgium
Last weekend saw the second round of the 2022 GT & Prototype Challenge, with Lea Mauer and Gary Hauser racing together at Zolder for Racing Experience.
For Gary Hauser, the track in Zolder is not new, as he already competed here in 2014 with the Dallara GP2 in the Boss GP. In the LMP3, however, it was now a matter of learning the very narrow track together with Lea, who was driving at Zolder for the first time, and at the same time coping with the traffic of a total of 41 cars on the track, which is only 4 km long.
The two practice sessions on Friday morning were full-packed with red flag interruptions, so there was little time to get used to the track and conditions. Gary was still able to achieve a 4th place in qualifying on Friday afternoon for both race starts for Racing Experience.
On Saturday, Gary started the first race and after a short safety car period he was able to work his way up to 3rd place, on which he handed the car over to Lea. Lea was able to improve continuously in the race and brought the car to the finish in P4 overall and P1 in the class standings.
The second race on Sunday afternoon was to build on this success of the previous day. Gary took the start in P4, but was immediately spun by a Bentley GT3 in the second corner, so that a broken rim, tire, as well as the bodywork had to be repaired in an unplanned five-minute pit stop. Lea took over the wheel at the end of the race, but due to the lost time, as well as numerous full-course yellow interruptions, only 12th place could be taken home in the end.
Christian Hauser, Racing Experience Team Owner said, “Zolder is not an easy track with the LMP3 as there are not many sections to overtake. With 40 other cars, this was a challenge. Lea, who drove only the second time at a race weekend this weekend, progressed very well throughout the weekend. Gary’s experience and data analysis were able to quickly get her on the right pace here to finish the race in P4. A big thanks goes out to the whole team, that reacted quickly and correctly during the pit stops, so that we were able to move up from the end of the field to P12 in the second race. We go with positive experiences to the next round to Assen, which takes place in August.”
Gary Hauser, Driver Racing Experience said, “Despite everything, we can draw a very positive conclusion from the weekend in Zolder. We finished the first race in P4 and as class winner and for the second race a podium overall would definitely have been achievable. Unfortunately, I was touched directly in the second corner by an over-motivated competitor, which caused us a lot of damage and severely affected our race. However, I’m already looking forward to the next race where we will prove our skills!”
Lea Mauer, Racing Experience driver said, “The race in Zolder was only my second race weekend and for me the focus continued to be on getting to know the car, as well as learning the track. On Friday morning in practice it was difficult to find a rhythm as the sessions were constantly interrupted with red flags. However, I was able to do some valuable laps during the day, which familiarized me with the car and the track. With Gary and our engineers I was then able to compare the data and optimize my driving, so that in the race with traffic I was able to set a 1:34:6 straight away, which was a huge improvement on the previous day and I was able to keep up with the pace of my rivals. The second race went differently than we wanted, nevertheless I can draw many learnings from the weekend!”
The next race for Racing Experience will be on July 15-17 at the Nürburgring with German driver Sebastian Von Gartzen for the Prototype Cup Germany. The third round of the GT & Prototype Challenge with take place the weekend of 05-07 August in Assen, Netherlands.