Cool and dry weather set the scene for round 8 of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. With very little wind, conditions were ideal for racing.
Matt Rao was at the wheel of #24 at the start, with Vitaly Petrov in #25. The first lap was incident free and both drivers made good progress. Matt moved up to P3 and Vitaly gained a position to run P6, which both maintained until they completed their stints.
During the race the #24 was hit by other cars a number of times but disappointingly it also received two penalties for collisions as well, resulting in the car dropping down the field, but #25 had no such problems and finished on the lead lap.
At the end of the race, cars #24 and #25 were classified P9 and P5.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“A very frustrating day. In what was effectively our second home race of the season we had hoped for much more, and showed the pace to finish on the podium. But there were a lot of collisions throughout the field with #24 being hit hard by the #37 when the #37 rejoined the track in an unsafe manner. This started a downturn for #24 which was compounded by events as the race went on. But it was good to see #25 finish well, although we need to work on overall performance for Bahrain and beyond.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25
“Maybe we should be happy because it is Car 25’s best result this year, but we are still quite slow in the group of cars around us. So we need to work on this and find the best setup, I know it’s not easy but we need to improve. But anyway, the guys did a good job, no crashes, they managed the tyres and that was not easy with the speed the other cars had. We need to take the information and have a better result for the last race in Bahrain.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25
“It was a difficult race although at least we had the best result of the season. We didn’t make any mistakes, either by the drivers, or the team and we didn’t get any penalties. The car was ok but it was so difficult to drive and the whole race we were just saving tyres, saving fuel and that was it. We stayed out of trouble and finished fifth, hopefully we can get a better result in Bahrain.”
Simon Trummer, Driver Car 25
“Well, our best result of the years so far so I’m happy for that. To be honest I think we did the best we could today, more was only possible with a bit more luck. Our pace on used tyres was pretty good but we didn’t get enough out of the new tyres. We finished on the same lap as the leader but we need to figure out where we lost the time.”
Jean Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24
“Our strategy was already destroyed before I got in the car. Then I was hit and pushed into a spin and the car felt different afterwards. We later discovered the extent of the damage from when I was hit which made the car so difficult to drive. A day to forget.”
Matt Rao, Driver Car 24
“I was a bit disappointed obviously, having been running in a podium position and fighting with the cars that ended up in the top slots at the end of the race. Today just wasn’t our day - luck didn’t go our way at all and there was a lot of aggressive driving out there and I think this track lends itself to that. Hopefully we can finish the season off with a high in Bahrain.”
Ben Hanley, Driver Car 24
“It was a tricky race. There was very high tyre deg so everyone was super careful and you had to be really easy on the tyres.”