RACING EXPERIENCE WITH FIRST OVERALL WIN AT HOME CIRCUIT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
Monday, October 17th 2022, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
After a two-month summer break, Racing Experience was back last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, considering the weekend as their home race, as the track is not far away from their workshop in Luxembourg.
Gary Hauser, having had his first race in his career there when he was younger, he is familiar with the track as well with the car, having already had a race in April 2022 with the LMP3 there. For his wife Lea it was again to learn the circuit and cope with fast-changing conditions, as Spa is known for thrilling weather changings.
The two practice sessions on Friday morning already showed the typical characteristics, as the rain declared the sessions to be wet. Lea, who never drove a race car in the wet before, was able to adapt quickly while Gary could help her to improve her lap times from session to session having lots of years of experience.
In Qualifying on Friday evening it was Gary who was able to set lap times which brought the team a P3 start in both races.
On Saturday, the Racing Experience Team already prepared the wet tires, as the rain came down as expected. Gary started the race in P3 and could made his way up to second position. Putting pressure on the car in P1, he was unfortunately not able to overtake him, as the car in front was faster on the straights due to a lighter weight as well as more engine power. Lea who stepped in the car during the mandatory pitstop came out in P1 but couldn’t hold the faster car behind. Driving without mistakes, she could bring the car comfortably home in second position as the car in P3 spun in these damp conditions.
The second race on Sunday morning was to build on this success of the previous day. The track was still damp, but drying, and the team decided to let Lea make her first race start on wet tires. While all others in front took the decision to start on slicks, Lea could already overtake the second-placed car who was struggling to bring the slicks in the right temperature window.
Although the track was nearly dry after a few laps, Lea tried to push the wet tires until the driver change, as a lucky safety car came out right at the time of the pitstop window. The team did an amazing tire and driver change and Gary went out of the box in P1. Having done the best lap of the race, he also conquered the finish line in P1 of the overall classification.
Christian Hauser, Racing Experience Team Owner said, “Spa-Francorchamps is our home track, I have memories here as a driver, driver’s father and team manager. It is a very fast and demanding track, but simultaneously the circuit is one of the most beautiful ones. Lea could make lots of learnings together with Gary in these wet conditions and I am proud of our achievement – the drivers but especially the team did an amazing job!”
Gary Hauser, Driver Racing Experience said, “I love Spa in dry conditions, but in the wet it makes also a lot of fun! My aim was to help Lea to get to speed and I think for her first time in the rain on this challenging track, she can be very happy with her results. I had a battle with the more powerful car in race 1, but wasn’t able to overtake him. It was clear that our chances for a win in race 2 were very small, but thanks to a good start, a perfect strategy and an amazing pitstop with tire change, we brought the win home! P2, P1 and fastest lap in race 1 and 2 – couldn’t have been much better!
Lea Mauer, Racing Experience driver said, “I always dreamed of racing in Spa, as it is one of the greatest tracks I have ever been during Gary’s races in the last years. But thinking of Spa means also thinking about tricky weather conditions. The race weekend already started with rain, so I had to learn the car and the track in the wet. With Gary’s support, I was already able to do some good laptimes in practice and to end race 1 without mistakes in P2. For the second race we decided in the last minute, that I will do the start on wet tires, as I was already used to it – which went out pretty well for us. A lucky safety car and a perfect teamwork at the pitstop allowed us to bring P1 home! I am super happy about this one and I am already looking forward to Assen where we will fight for the class title in two weeks!”
The next race for Racing Experience will be the season finale of the Prototype Cup Germany next weekend at the Hockenheimring with Gary Hauser and German driver Sebastian Von Gartzen. The last round of the GT & Prototype Challenge with take place the weekend of 28-30 October in Assen, Netherlands.