RACING EXPERIENCE CHARGES TO STRONG POINTS FINISH IN SEASON FINALE
The Racing Experience team wrapped up their debut Le Mans Cup season with a points-scoring sixth place finish in Portimão this morning, securing eighth position in the championship.
Entering the final race of the season in tenth position in the team standings, the driver pairing of Nicolas Mélin and David Hauser were hopeful of a strong performance in the season finale to give the team a positive end to their first Le Mans Cup campaign.
Clearly enjoying the Algarve International Circuit, Mélin and Hauser showed consistent top-ten pace throughout the weekend’s practice and test sessions and qualified for a fourth row start for the race.
With championship deciders in play and scores to settle around them, the no. 11 Racing Experience car was caught up in the opening lap tussles of the race, forcing Mélin to avoid contact and drop back to P17. Keeping a cool head, Mélin used his one-hour stint to carve his way back through the field in an astonishing recovery drive, putting the team back in the points after only nine race laps.
After taking the wheel at the half-way point, Hauser rejoined the action in ninth place. The Luxembourgish driver set out for his final race stint of the season with the bit between his teeth to finish on a high. A retirement ahead of him placed Hauser into P8 and he quickly capitalised with a spectacular overtake to win seventh position.
In the closing stages of the race, Hauser gained a further position and closed the gap to the next car down the road. The final five laps saw the pair battle through every corner before Hauser brought the car home in sixth position, earning the team eight championship points and securing eighth position in the final championship standings.
Christian Hauser, Racing Experience team principal said:“I cannot think of a better way to round off our debut season in this championship. We have shown consistently that we have the speed to compete with the bigger teams around us. Even though we were caught up in the chaos of the opening lap, Nicolas and David charged forward from P17 to P6 and won 8 hard-earned points.”
“We have all learned a lot this season and enjoyed racing in one of the most competitive championships we have ever been a part of. I am proud of our team and how professional every member of Racing Experience has been. We can go home with our heads held high.”
Nicolas Mélin, Racing Experience driver said:“We had a very strong car this weekend, with consistent top ten pace. While it was a shame to get caught up in the first lap madness, the priority was to protect the car and have a clean race. I’m proud of my drive to quickly get the car back in the points and hand the car to David in a good position to have some fun and to make a final charge. I have really enjoyed being back in this awesome championship and pleased to repay the hard work of the team with some good points today.”
David Hauser, Racing Experience driver said:“That was fun! As racing drivers, we all want to show our pace and enjoy some good battles on track and we had lots of that today. Nicolas had a busy morning with one of the best recovery drives we have seen in this championship and he put us in a good position to score points.”
“I was pushing hard in my stint and enjoyed some overtaking. In the final laps, I closed the gap to Talkanitsa and nearly got the overtake done. One lap more would have been all I wanted but I am still happy to have brought home points and a P6 finish. Our team deserves this result. We have made a strong impression this season and we are hungry for more.”