The #13 LMP3 of the Inter Europol Competition team with Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore won their class at Barcelona in the third round of the European Le Mans Series. They are now leading the championship. Not so fortunate were the team’s #34 LMP2 and the #14 LMP3, even though both cars were very competitive. Both cars stopped on track in the third hour of the race.
It was hot at the start of the European Le Mans Series 4 Hours race at Barcelona. The track temp was 47C degrees, the air 29C degrees and the humidity 62%.
The start from Martin Hippe in the #13 LMP3 was difficult and he fell back behind some GT’s but could recover and was after the first hour in 9thplace. At the end of the second hour Nigel Moore took over and was in 10thplace going into the third hour. In the third hour Moore pushed and moved from 10thto 3rd. In the last hour, he moved to second and then first. He got a drive-through after a touch but even with this penalty he crossed the finish line first in LMP3. Target reached!
Sam Dejonghe in the #14 LMP3 had a good start and a great stint and moved from 15thto 9thand was 8thafter one hour. Just into the third hour with Paul Scheuschner behind the wheel and in 8thplace, the car stopped at turn 3. Engine failure.
After a great start and super good stint, Smiechowski in the #34 LMP2, moved from 14thup to 12thand was in 7thposition after the first hour. Unfortunately, also in the third hour, with Adrien Tambay behind the wheel and in 8thposition, the car stopped between turn 2 and 3. Electric failure.
Martin Hippe:“My start was very difficult as I had to avoid the spinning cars in front of me and was pushed onto the dirty part of the track and it took me three to four corners to get back. But after that I could pick up the pace and gained some places back. But I really want to thank the team for giving Nigel and me such a good car. We worked hard to get here and it finally paid off.”
Nigel Moore: “It has been a really hard time for the team. We did not have the pace all weekend and but we managed to sort the issues out in time for the race. The race was ok. The team did a good job and Martin was consistent. And we got what we wanted; more championship point. We now have finished 3, 2 and 1 and leave Barcelona leading the championship.”
Sam Dejonghe:“It was a difficult weekend with many technical issues. But we turned the car around for the race. I had a very good stint charging from the back to 7th. Then sadly the car came to a halt during Paul’s stint, ruining the chance for a good result. But like always in racing you have to try and find the positives and we will be back for better in Silverstone.”
Dani Clos:”It is a pity what happened to us. I think we had a good chance of a good result on this difficult track. Kuba was doing a really good job and Adrien was, for his first time in the car, fast and consistent. It would have been great to see what could have happened. There is still a lot to do and even more to achieve and will certainly plan to do so in the next race.”
Michael Keese (Team Director):“First of all a big congratulation to Martin and Nigel who did what they wanted to do; finish on the highest step of the podium. Many thanks to the whole team, the engineers, the mechanics and the drivers of all three cars. And in particular all of the LMP2 crew. It was a very tough job to get to this level of competitive racing, it being only our fourth race. Even if we did not get to end the race because of a total electric failure, it was a great race as the car was extremely competitive. Sam and Paul in the #14 LMP3 did have all possibilities to finish better than before when the engine, which normally is nearly indestructible, died of heat exhaustion. Both drivers are on their way to be on the same level as the drivers in the LMP #13.”