The Inter Europol Competition team finished fourth in the 6 Hours of Monza. With only three starts in the World Endurance Championship, this is their best result with the Oreca #34 LMP2 so far. Even a drive-through penalty did not spoil the race for Kuba Smiechowski, Alex Brundle and Renger van der Zande and the rest of the team.
After a somewhat disappointing 8th place in qualifying, Brundle started the race and quickly moved up to 6th. In turn 1 of lap 17, Brundle came into contact with the #70 which resulted in the drive-through penalty. Brundle was in 10th place going into the second hour.
Renger van der Zande took over from Brundle and moved up to 8th. In the third hour Van der Zande moved up to 3rd place, when he handed the car to Kuba Smiechowski. Smiechowski was 4th after four hours. In the 5thhour of the race, Brundle took the wheel from Smiechowski and was, going into the last hour, back to third place. But after a fuel stop, he dropped to fourth and that became the final result.
Sascha Fassbender (team manager):“It was an eventful race with up to now, the best result. So far, we have only improved and that gives us hope for Le Mans. At the beginning we had the drive-through penalty which resulted in a bad position on the grid. But that actually got us a lap back in the safety car period, putting us in fourth place. At the end of the race we were fighting for third place but a full course yellow in the last half hour, gave our competitior the time to come in for fuel and we finished fourth. After two full weeks here in Monza I am very proud of the team as they gave it their full on both race weekends. A big thank you to the team.”
Renger van der Zande: “I am proud of the team. It’s the third race in a row, that the team has made no mistakes and that is not easy in this championship. We have been steadily improving the car and Monza was a good preparation for Le Mans. I think we have a great driver line-up and we work very well together. And now the big one in a month time.”
Alex Brundle: “Firstly, a better result means a better race. Then, it is heartening to see that the pace is improving versus our competitors, who are considerably more experienced than us. A podium finish feels much closer now and I am sure that we are not too far away to be on the rostrum.”
Kuba Smiechowski: “Fourth place is a pretty good result. Quali was difficult and I am not sure what the problem was, but we came back from it in the race. We had a really good car and the strategy was good too.”