After a tough last race of the European Le Mans Series at Portimao (Portugal), the #13 Ligier LMP3 of Martin Hippe and Dino Lunardi finished third and with this result secured second place in the European Le Mans Series. For the third year running the Inter Europol Competition team is Vice Champion LMP3.
Dino Lunardi: “I am happy to be to be back on the podium but disappointed for the team not to get the title. This weekend everything was difficult. We just could not find a good set up on the car. But we did not give up to find a solution. The result we had, came by having a good strategy and never giving up.”
Martin HIppe: “Another difficult weekend for us, as we were struggling with the car. In the end, we won second place and did not lose the championship. We came here as second and the change to win was small. We just did not have the pace today. Congratulation to United Autosports as they did a great job throughout the year. Now we will analyse everything and come back stronger next year.”
The last race in the #34 Ligier LMP2 looked like it was going to be a good one for Kuba Smiechowski and Rene Binder. However, a slow right rear puncture had Smiechowski come in, unfortunately just before the second full course yellow. This cost the team at least a lap. Five minutes before the end of the race, luck ran out when a brake disc blew up and Smiechowski ended up in the wall. Luckily, he was ok. Matevos Isaakyan was not in Portimao as he was home sick.
Rene Binder: “We expected a bit more from the race today. In de beginning, everything was going well for us. Kuba had a really good first stint but then we had a slow puncture on the rear which was really bad for us as we had to box just before the full course yellow. We lost a lot of time there. The car was not too bad but nothing seemed to go our way today.”
Kuba Smiechowski: “The start was pretty good as was our strategy but the slow puncture we had at the end of my first stint really made us lose a lot of time. Rene was driving very well. I jumped in the car for the last hour. But five minutes before the end of the race the disc exploded and I went into the wall. Just not our day and our race, which is sad as it was our last one in the Ligier.”
Sascha Fassbender: “The last race with the Ligier LMP2 and unfortunately not a good race. In the first part of the race we were still hopeful but the slow puncture costs us a lap at least. I really would have like a good result for the full team who have worked so hard with the LMP2 over the last two years. But it wasn’t to be. In the LMP3 we had another podium which was good as we have had a hard year with the car. But United deserved the win. They had the speed we did not have and our congratulations to them. We will be back, even stronger next year.”