The #13 Ligier LMP3 of the Inter Europol Competition team won the fight for the last place on the podium in the last laps of the race, at Barcelona in the season opener of the European Le Mans Series. The race saw a messy start, but soon Martin Hippe in the teams? Ligier LMP3 #13 and Mattia Pasini in the #14 LMP3 found their rhythm. Pasini, for whom this was the first ever race on four wheels, drove a great stint and even moved in the second hour as high as second place. When Julien Falchero took over from Hippe, the #13 was in fifth place and when Ugo de Wilde took his turn behind the wheel from Falchero, they were still in fifth. De Wilde pushed hard and achieved to take the last step on the podium. For the #14 things did not go so well. In the pit stop when Julius Adomavicius handed the car to Alessandro Bracalente for the last stint, the pit stop of the #14 took too long and the car lost a possible podium finish.
Sascha Fassbender (Team manager): ?We are happy to be back on track after a long hard winter with a lot of difficulties in this COVID pandemic. Here in Barcelona we had to stay in the hotel for two days which did not help us with all the preparations and practicing the pit stops. Under these circumstances we are happy to get on the podium in third place. At the Red Bull Ring we will fight again for the win. In the #14 we had three drivers new to the team and new to endurance racing. All did a very good job. Unfortunately the last pit stop took a possible podium place away from them which they had deserved. Overall we are looking forward to be back for more and better at the Red Bull Ring.?
What the driver Ligier LMP3 #13 said:
Martin Hippe: ?I think in the end third is not bad, but we hoped for more. I think today we have seen where we have to improve. Our strategy was not bad, but we have to improve. My start was not good as I had a bad moment in turn one. I ended up in the dirt and lost a lot of time there. But the rest of my stint was ok.?
Ugo de Wilde: ?My stint was good and so was my pace. We were missing a bit of pace in traffic. Considering what happened this weekend, a touch of Covid in the team, it was a good first meeting. Now we know all the areas we need to improve so we will work hard on all these points and push to be consistently on the podium every race.?
Julien Falchero: ?For a first race it was difficult, and my stint was not the best. I should have done much better. I need to learn and understand why I was not better. And have to do much better for the next race. But it?s is still a podium finish.?
What the driver Ligier LMP3 #14 said:
Mattia Pasini: ?I am happy about my double stint and my debut on four wheels. We started a bit at the back from P12, but I was able to get into a good rhythm and I finished my stint in P2 and am very proud about it. A bit sorry to lose the podium in the driver change. But this is endurance and now I know I can be near the top. I am happy and a thank you to everybody who helped me this week.?
Julius Adomavicius: ?Actually this race will make me stronger. Everything was good at the beginning and we were confident. We were in the top five, till the pit stop where things went wrong. In summary, I am happy with the performance we have done, and look forward to the next one.?
Alessandro Bracalente: ?It?s my first race in this championship and I have a lot to improve but it?s a good way to start the season. Looking forward to improving more and more each race.?