The LMP3 high for the Inter Europol Competition team in the fourth round of the European Le Mans Series at Monza, was the win for the #13, raced by Martin Hippe (GER) and Dino Lunardi (FRA).
The decision the engineer took to have the #13 LMP3 start the race on slicks, turned out to be a very good one. It gave Martin Hippe and Dino Lunardi a big advantage. Both did a very good job and they led the race for most of the four hours.
#13 Martin Hippe: “A very difficult race, specially the start. But the decision taken by our engineer Jörg (Kranzfelder) to go for slick tyres on a damp track, was perfect though very tricky in the first couple of corners. But as the car was really good today, it gave us the pace to build up a gap and fight for the lead early in the race. Next race at Portimao will be a tough one. We are in a very competitive class with very competitive drivers, but there, again, we will go for the win.”
#13 Dino Lunardi: “It is an incredible feeling to be on the podium again. It has been a long time. Thank you to Martin for his great double stint and to the team for giving us a really good car. It was a double duty weekend for me which was not easy. Between the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the ELMS, there are some differences and I had to adjust really quickly. But once on the podium, all was well.”
The LMP2 low was Matevos Isaakyan’s accident in the second free practice session with the #34 which caused the team to have to overnight another chassis to Monza and rebuild the car during Saturday night. And that wasn’t all. In the last two hours of the race, the car lost the engine cover twice.
#34 Kuba Smiechowski: “For sure it was a hard 24 hours for the mechanics. And I am really impressed by and grateful for the job they have done. It was not what we deserved. The engine cover being lost twice, for whatever the reason, was a big shame. The race was going well, we were on a good strategy and we had pretty decent pace. It’s a big shame as the guys worked so hard, and we really wanted to give them a good result.”
Sascha Fassbender (team manager): “It was an eventful and a difficult weekend. We are happy we finally got the win we fought so hard for in the LMP3 class. And even when Nigel Moore is not here, he is part of this win. He has put in a lot of work so far. Super racing from both Hippe and Lunardi. Specially from Hippe in the beginning with slicks on a damp track. And Lunardi brought the car home safely.”
“In the LMP2 we had a very difficult weekend. After the serious crash in free practice 2 of Matevos Isaakyan we had a chassis transported from Germany overnight on Saturday. The mechanics started working at 1 am and had the car ready at 6 am. In the beginning the car was really good and it looked like all the work had been worthwhile. Binder had a great start and overtook many cars, then Smiechowski, on his birthday, had a great drive and put the car in the top 5. Unfortunately, when Isaakyan was behind the wheel he lost the engine cover twice, which costs us a lot of time. We could have had the wanted top five finish. Now we wait for Portimao. And there we are ready to fight for the title in LMP3.”