Racing Experience back on track with sixth place finish in Barcelona
Saturday 20th July 2019, Barcelona.
The Racing Experience team got their season back on track in Barcelona today, finishing in sixth position in round four of the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Having previously achieved a best finish of fourth on the team’s debut in Paul Ricard, the Luxembourgish team suffered from bad luck in the next two rounds in Monza and Le Mans and arrived in Barcelona determined to achieve a strong finish.
Continuing to alternate with brother David, Gary Hauser returned to racing action this weekend as the team’s silver driver, partnering bronze driver Nicolas Mélin who made his debut with the team at the previous race.
Gaining confidence and experience in the Norma M30, Mélin equalled the team’s best ever qualifying position, placing the no 11. Racing Experience machine on the second row in fourth position for the race.
The race initially began with a false start, forcing Mélin to give up the two positions he had gained in the first few corners. The racing finally got underway after a second starting procedure, but Mélin dropped back to seventh.
With the bit between his teeth, the Frenchman battled his way forwards, gaining three positions during his stint, despite two full course yellow periods, before handing the car over to partner Hauser at the mid-point of the two-hour race.
Joining the action in fifth position for his stint, Gary Hauser quickly got up to speed on the notoriously challenging circuit. The racer enjoyed some incredible racing, including a five-way battle into turn four and tussles with both LMP3 and GT cars throughout his hour-long stint.
With three laps to go, Hauser was under pressure to defend his sixth position from the Cool Racing’s Victor Blugeon. The experienced driver used every bit of his skill to make his Norma as wide as possible to hold his place and finish in sixth position, earning eight valuable championship points for the team and promoting Racing Experience to seventh position in the Teams Championship.
Christian Hauser, Racing Experience team principal said: “This is exactly the race weekend we needed to get back on track. We have had bad luck from contact and technical issues in the last two races but we knew that just needed to have a clean weekend to find our rhythm once again. I’m pleased to have such a strong finish and this performance will motivate us during the gap between races. This is a result that was earned on the track with hard racing and that makes it even more satisfying. We will look forward to racing at our ‘home’ circuit in Spa in September. As a family, we have a lot of experience at this circuit, so we hope for another strong performance.”
Gary Hauser, Racing Experience driver said: “What a race! We finally have a result that we deserve. For sure, it wasn’t a prefect performance and we made some small mistakes, but I’m very happy that we had a clean weekend, great racing and a competitive result. I really enjoyed my racing today. The battle with Blugeon over the final laps was so close. It’s that kind of racing that we are here for and shows the quality of the competition in this championship.”
Nicolas Mélin, Racing Experience driver said: “I’m really happy with this weekend. We have shown good pace in each session and we have achieved the consistency that we struggled with in the last race. I feel really good in the Norma and enjoyed pushing in the race and some fun battles and was glad to hand the car to Gary so that he could have some fun too. I’m happy that the team has a result that it deserves and a good haul of points.”
The championship now takes a break for August and will resume at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps on September 21.