Strong teamwork of Racing Experience at season opener in Barcelona
|Sunday 18th April 2021, Barcelona|
The 2021 European Le Mans Series started this weekend with the first race meeting at the Circuit of Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. It was also the debut for the Luxembourgish Racing Experience team, delighted to take part in this highly competitive championship.
After two official pre-season testdays on Monday and Tuesday, the official meeting began on Friday with free practice sessions. On Saturday afternoon, it was time for the qualifying for which David Hauser was in charge. With only ten minutes time, the best drivers of the LMP3 class tried to achieve the best time for the starting grid. With 1.3 seconds behind pole position, David qualified in 14th position.
On Sunday, everybody was excited for the season opener to start. Tom Cloet, Racing Experience‘s Bronze driver, had the responsibility for the race start. After a solid one-hour stint with only a slight mistake at the exit of the last chicane, Tom came in for the planned first refueling pit-stop. Unfortunately, at the moment to rejoin the action on track, he was unable to restart the engine because of a starter failure. Racing Experience immediately decided to bring the car into the box to carry out the exchange of the broken starter. The crew did an amazing job all together and the car was finally able to continue and finish the race.
Christian Hauser, Racing Experience Team Owner: “For us, the main target was to finish the first race of our ELMS debut. We have achieved this goal! Of course we cannot be entirely happy of the final result, because the engine starter cost us more than ten laps in the race. Nevertheless, I am proud of the good teamwork during the week and especially during the race intervention, because a lot of bodywork and the floor had to be taken off to change the starter. We now look forward to the next round in Austria.”
David Hauser, Racing Experience Managing Director and Driver: “From a driver perspective, I would have liked the race to finish in a better way. It was hard to start into my stint after the time we needed to stay in the box, but I was grateful for the hard job the mechanics had done so that we could finish the race. I was also happy to do the qualification for our team. I set the fastest time we have ever done here at Barcelona and we are getting closer to the overall best time, but the competition is extremely high and you can easily gain or loose four places with 0.2 seconds. I am eager to do even better at the next occasion.
Regarding the starter failure, we need to investigate because we surveil the parts’ mileage closely and there was still margin before revision. It was the first time that we had this issue and unlucky to have it in the race. We will discuss this with Duqueine and Oreca next week.”
Gary Hauser, Racing Experience Driver: “That was unfortunately not the result that we were aiming for. It felt so good to be back in the car after the winter. The progress we had over the week was encouraging, especially because we struggled on this track two years ago. What was new as well was that, compared to the Michelin Le Mans Cup, you have to manage the trafic with the LMP2 and the GT cars. I think we can still take a lot of information and experience from this race with us and take advantage of it for the rest of the season.”
Tom Cloet, Racing Experience Driver: “I am very happy to drive this season with Racing Experience in the ELMS championship. I have tested with a lot of different teams before the season start and I finally chose Racing Experience. Although I felt bad for my mistake in the last chicane during the race, I am delighted with my progression over the week. I discover more and more the way how to drive the Duqueine D08. I also want to thank the team for their hard work during the week and for their efforts during the race.”
The Racing Experience team will now focus on the preparation of the next race meeting. This will take place in Austria at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, on Sunday 16th May.
Image credit: Underground Pictures
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