FIAWEC – PREMA Racing ends hard-fought Monza race with P7, P9

PREMA Racing had a tough run at Monza as the team lined up for its home FIA WEC event held in blistering heat before a packed house of 65.000 fans.

Starting from P7 with the #63 car, Doriane Pin had a challenging first stint as she was shuffled towards the back. While trying to recover, she was involved in contact which resulted in a 30-second penalty. The team went on to a recovery strategy as Mathias Beche, driving for the team for the first time this weekend, and Daniil Kvyat managed the tyres and pace to perfection. A safety car helped them to close the gap but P7 was the maximum they could bring home.

Contact in the early stages also compromised the result of the #9 car. After solid stints by Filip Ugran and Andrea Caldarelli, Dutchman Bent Viscaal was involved in a side-to-side battle which also ended up with a contact. A massive 1-minute penalty ensued and basically ended the hopes of the crew despite a solid pace throughout the whole six hours. They wound up in P9.

The team will now regroup and start preparations ahead of the next event at Fuji Speedway.

“It was a tough race, not the luckiest. Unfortunately, we got a one-minute stop-and-go and that really messed up everything. Since then, our hopes went away, but from that point on I think we were in a good strategy with the tyres. We suffered a little bit, in the beginning, to try to save them for the last two stints, and that was a good strategy. The car honestly had a good pace, but that penalty was impossible to overcome.”

“I’m happy with the car and my performance. I made a few passes, and then there was a little mishap at the pitstop that cost us a few seconds. We went out again at the back of the pack, but I still got a few passes done and handed the car back in a good position. I think we made a good job as a team, we had great speed. Unfortunately, a small contact that involved Bent in a situation where he couldn’t have hesitated led to a big penalty. Still, the speed was good, and we were again able to be in line with the podium contenders.”

“Difficult day. I think we had very good potential but I got a penalty for a collision with the Vector Sport car. I expected to get a little bit more space, but he closed and we touched. Fair enough, I got a penalty for that. My bad and I’m sorry for the mistake. We knew we had to be aggressive because we were quite far down the field compared to what we were capable. In the end, we could see that the performance was very good but the penalty impacted us a lot.”

“It’s a hard race when you try to go from the back to the front. It was very hard to overtake today. We had a decent performance and the team worked really hard this weekend to give us the best car. We need to learn from this race and improve every detail, because it’s very competitive, because every small mistake or detail can make a difference. It was a great experience to be part of it this weekend, I really appreciated it. The team was very welcoming, and I thank everyone for that.”

“It was a challenging weekend overall. We had some good speed, but we didn’t have an easy start with a lot of fighting going on where we got on the unlucky side with the penalty. I think Doriane was right in fighting for positions. However, these things can put you on the back foot, and then on a 6-hour race you run out of time trying to catch up from last, it’s difficult to make a move. We were there, we had a decent pace but we were struggling to show it because we were stuck behind other people. That’s what we could do today. We take this on the chin. The result is disappointing for sure and we need to get back where we belong, where we were in the first couple of races, fighting for wins and podiums. We need a good reset and we will be in good shape for Fuji.”

“It’s not very easy to give a feedback today, we have to look at everything and understand why we missed a little bit of pace. Regarding the penalty, we got a contact while battling side by side. I try to avoid it, but was a bit too late. We had a safety-car that helped us recover, but we were still lacking a bit. We will work hard for Fuji because this team deserves more.”