It’s been a successful week for Inter Europol Competition at Monza, equalling the team’s best result in the FIA World Endurance Championship, off the back of a great win last Sunday in the European Le Mans Series. It’s been equally memorable, underlining the strength and depth of this growing Polish team on the international motorsport stage.
The six hours of Monza began practice, and then qualifying, where Esteban was unfortunate to lose out with late session red flags, meaning that Kuba would start the race in tenth position in the LMP2 class. Under the blue skies of Monza, the racing got underway with Kuba performing well to gain position and run ninth while keeping the #38 Jota behind in those early stages.
Alex was in next aboard the #34 Oreca, quickly re-catching the #38 and then repassing for position on track. He quickly set his sights on positions ahead, moving between third and seventh during the pitstop cycles. It was a strong run from Alex, handing over to Esteban for a triple stint, allowing the Mexican racer to run at the front on numerous occasions as the team looked at strategy options for the final third of the race.
Alex was back in for the final two stints to the chequered flag, once again running out-front before pitting with 36 minutes remaining. As it was, he was tight on fuel and was not able to push his rivals ahead as he would have liked.
Fourth position however remains the team’s best result in the series as they now look forward to the forthcoming challenges in both LMP2 and LMP3.
Sascha Fassbender, Team Manager
“It’s a good result, the best we have achieved since we first entered the FIA World Endurance Championship. We had a difficult start to the season, but we have risen to the challenge and have improved and P4 is the very start of what we want to achieve and that is to race – on merit – in the top five. So, we will push harder to ensure that we hit the ground running at Fuji and a great thanks to all of the drivers today who did a great job. I’m proud of the pit crew who made no mistakes to help us achieve this result.”
Jakub (Kuba) Śmiechowski
“We started P10 and I was trying to keep the tyres alive throughout, but in the second stint the car was starting to slide a little, so I couldn’t push as I would have liked. In general, we are all very happy with this P4. The whole team did a great job, as did the drivers Alex and Esteban, so overall it’s a wonderful result for the team.”
“The step forward we have taken forward this year is clear. I gave it my all to try and secure the podium position, but we couldn’t quite manage it this time just because the way the race fell, and in having to save fuel for the final stint was the real nail in the coffin for our podium ambitions. However, it’s also great to help bring home the best result for the team yet in FIA WEC and it’s another good step forwards after a difficult start to the season. All the team members thoroughly deserve this result and much more.”
“It was good to be able to run at the front of the field and I managed to keep them behind whilst managing my tyres. Of course, it’s been hot this weekend and choosing to do three stints at a time made it more difficult for us to manage the tyres from behind the wheel and then it was over to Alex to finish the race.”
Pleased everything is coming together for the team. I’ve watched since you all started in ELMS, and it’s got better bit by bit. Also a fan of Alex, who doesn’t live far from me. Next stop for the team LMDh ?? Would be nice, and would look great in your colours.