While today’s result at Fuji Speedway was not what Inter Europol Competition wanted, the Polish team takes the battle for the LMP2 title to the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain, where 36 points are up for grabs.
Kuba Smiechowski, Fabio Scherer and Albert Costa ultimately brought the car home ninth today, a disappointing result from fifth on the grid. The team lost the sweet spot, the balance, of the #34 Oreca during the first half of the six-hour event.
“It was a difficult race weekend for us,” explained Team Manager Sascha Fassbender. “At certain points in this race, we did not have the performance that we should have, and we need to investigate the reasons behind this. Albert however, showed that the car did have the performance later in the race, and now we’re 33 points behind the championship leader.
“36 points are available in Bahrain, so there is a small chance; We can only win if something happens to car #41. We will push, be fully focused and will do everything we can to keep our title hopes alive in Bahrain, the last race with LMP2 in the FIA World Endurance Championship. We know we can put in a good performance there.”
While rain and cool temperatures dominated much of the pre-race buildup, Sunday was humid, warm, and overcast. Albert had put in a strong performance to qualify the #34 in fifth position, and hopes were high as the race went green in Japan.
Kuba started the race, with the team opting for two, relatively short double stint. This saw him gain track position with fourth place as Albert jumped in his two stints.
Out of sequence with our rivals, the middle section of the race proved tricky, and it wasn’t until much later that Albert was able to extract front-running pace from the car, with the second fastest LMP2 lap of the race. Unfortunately, by that point, the team had dropped off the lead lap and much of the damage had been done.
In addition to the preparations for the season finale in Bahrain, Inter Europol Competition is also getting ready for the next rounds of the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup which take place in two weeks’ time at Circuit Spa Francorchamps.