A small problem occurred in the last hour of Race 1 of the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai today, but it had significant consequence for the Inter Europol Competition team.
Alex Bukhantsov did an outstanding job in the first two hours of the race. Bukhantsov came to the team at the last moment and had never driven the LMP3 before except for a little during the practice sessions. He kept the car in second place during his entire stint. Guilherme Oliveira took over from him and was on his way to fight for the win when during the full course yellow going into the last hour, a small electrical problem needed to be repaired. The crew of the #13 had to push the car into the pit box as a broken light panel needed to be fixed. 14 minutes later, the car came out, now with Nico Pino behind the wheel. Pino did what he could and put the car over the finish line in 5th place (LMP3).
Alex Bukhantsov: “I am amazed by the whole experience. It went from never having driven an LMP car, only maybe for about an hour, to having to race it for two hours. It got away from me for a couple of laps after an hour or so, but then I brought back my composure and was able to concentrate and get back to my target lap times. It was sometimes hard to manage traffic, especially the fast GT3 who are good on their brakes. But I am ready to jump in the car and do this again.”
Guilherme Oliveira: “We were quick in the race and in a solid P2 until we had a problem with a light panel. This was unfortunate as we were on our way to a possible win. This was some bad luck. I now know the car and the circuit better, so tomorrow we will push again as hard as we can.”
Nico Pino: “Overall, it was unfortunate that we had to fix the light panel and lost a lot of time because of that. But after I got out on quite cold tires, I quickly became very comfortable with the car. We are strong, the car is strong and we have managed the situation well. We look for a good fight tomorrow.”
Sunday 13 February Dubai Race 2 17.30 – 21.30 local Dubai time (GMT+4)