Although a puncture ruined Demarchi´s 135d Hybrid chances, the Italian delivered another strong performance at the wheel of the BMW Hybrid of Ecomotive Solutions
Another round of the Sports and Touring Car Championship took place at the Snetterton 300 last weekend, with Luca Demarchi keeping focus in Mike Moss title fight.
On Saturday, during weekend´s test day, Demarchi managed to set very competitive lap times driving on dry asphalt. At the same time, Saxon Motorosport and the Italian driver made steady progress with car set-up and they managed to improve constantly their lap times.
But wet Qualifying on Sunday was a completely different story. In difficult weather conditions, Luca was 2nd quickest, only beaten by Moss-Hartley (BMW M3) who beaten him by 543 thousandths. It was an extremely demanding session for several drivers and a Porsche even brought out a red flag during Qualifying.
Later in the race, Luca started second in class but soon he was under attack from upper class vehicles but still keeping them at bay for a while. “We lost time at the beginning”, Demarchi explained, remarking that “on wet asphalt my race pace was quite good. I was aware our competiveness would wane in dry condition, so I was determined to run nose-to-tail with Moss. Unfortunately I was overtaken by faster cars and definitively Moss took full advantage of this, as he could maintain his running position”.
Demarchi made his pit-stop shortly after setting several personal best lap times and rejoining the race ahead of Hartley, now taking over the BMW M3 from Moss. Demarchi was still pushing his limits but Hartley managed to catch him and, after a closely-fought battle, he passed the hybrid BMW for the lead as his BMW was quicker. “I knew we were forced to push every lap, and everything was going according to plan. But our speed deficit on straights was too big to keep him at bay for longer”, Demarchi commented afterwards.
Besides, Demarchi suffered car´s flat tire at Agostini bend and, as a result, he went off track and forced to complete an extremely slow lap before heading into the pit lane. Fortunately, Luca had a huge gap on Schiele / Hamilton and managed to secure second place. “That puncture came out of the blue but for sure it ruined our chances. My goal was to attack at the end as tire wear kept getting worse and maybe I could challenge Hartley. But sometimes bad luck strikes on you. Anyway our result is quite good. Saxon Motorsport and I are studying some upgrades for Silverstone, and Autogas Italia will improve Ecomotive Solutions system. We are confident heading to Silverstone International, on 19 September, because we should make big step up there”.