(English) January 2024 news summary

23 stycznia 2024

Przepraszamy, ten wpis jest dostępny tylko w języku Amerykański Angielski.

Inter Europol Competition has confirmed its full lineup for the forthcoming European Le Mans Series, completed its first race of the year in the Prototype Winter Series, and is now busy preparing for its first 24-hour race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

• First start, first podium in the Prototype Winter Series
• IMSA ROAR roundup
• IMSA Rolex 24 schedule
• How to watch the Rolex 24 at Daytona
• Introducing Nick Boulle

First start, first podium in the Prototype Winter Series
It’s a familiar venue, but in January, it brought chilly, wet conditions for much of the week, thankfully brightening up for the race weekend at Portimao for the Prototype Winter Series.

Inter Europol Competition fielded the #88 LMP3 Ligier in what was the second round of the championship with two new drivers in Pedro Perino – who will race with us in the European Le Mans Series this year – and Sebastian Gravlund.

It wasn’t all easy; an unfortunate accident from Pedro after setting the pole time for the first of two races meant that the team were forced out of the rest of Saturday’s running.

With the JS P320 repairs completed, Sebastian started the 50-minute race from eighth position, steered clear of trouble at the first turn and went on to hand over the carbon-coloured Ligier to Pedro.

It was a fine performance from both, taking second position overall and the team’s first podium position of 2024! So close to that first win…

ROAR roundup
Ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a full field of LMP2, GTP and GT3 have been busy pounding around the 5.73 KM partly banked circuit.

The #52 LMP2 Oreca fielded by Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports – raced by Nick Boulle, Tom Dillmann, Clément Novalak and Jakub Śmiechowski – completed 201 laps of testing.

As per regulation, qualifying from our Bronze-graded racer took place on Sunday evening, and Nick did a phenomenal job to qualify in second position, even pushing oh so close to the pole on his very final lap of a short 15-minute qualifying session.

The team has a few days of preparation now before hitting the circuit again on Thursday for the first of four practice sessions and then Saturday’s 24-hour race start.

IMSA Rolex 24 schedule
Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will line up Saturday afternoon from second position in the LMP2 field. It’s a big race weekend ahead!

Thursday 25 January
10:05 – 11:35 – Practice 1
14:10 – 15:55 – Practice 2
18:35 – 20:05 – Practice 3

Friday 26 January
11:20 – 12:20 – Practice 4

Saturday 27 January
13:30 – Rolex 24 at Daytona

All times listed ET, CET +6H, GMT +5H

How to watch the Rolex 24 at Daytona
There are numerous broadcasters globally showing the main event, but a general rule of thumb is that if unsure, there is the IMSA TV streaming service available outside of North America. Timing is also available on the IMSA website.

IMSA has completed this handy guide – IMSA: International Coverage | IMSA – detailing regions and viewing options!

Introducing Nick Boulle
Nick, welcome to Inter Europol. First, could you tell us a little about yourself, what you like doing away from the circuit, and your hobbies and interests?

“I love to spend time with my family, my wife and our pets! We have a little Black Labrador that loves to run with me in the mornings. She’s a lot of work to keep busy and happy, but we really love spending time outside with her and being active.

In addition, I am a cyclist. I raced bicycles semi-professionally, reaching Category 1 status in two years of riding. I eventually joined my friend (AMA Superbike Champion) Ben Spies’ cycling team called Elbowz Racing. I won the state championship three times in distinct categories (Criterium and Time Trial) and even finished on the podium at the NCAA USA National Championships!”

Racing is obviously a passion of yours; how did you get involved in the sport? Was it through family or friends?

“My dad and I shared a love for cars, which got us into racing! One of my dad’s friends invited us to watch him drive his car at a racetrack in Texas, and then a few years later, I found out about karting… The rest snowballed slowly over a few years!”

This weekend, you will start one of the biggest sports car races in the world at Daytona. You have plenty of experience at both the circuit and in IMSA competition. Your teammates are new to the Rolex 24; what can you share with them to help maximise the race result?

“I think the most important thing to always think about going into the Rolex 24 Hours is just how many correct decisions you have to make as the race goes on. You have to think about the series like a probability equation… Your tolerance for risk can go up as the race goes longer. And then you prepare for the big fight at the end and hope you are in it to win it!”

You will compete in the upcoming Endurance rounds in the championship; which events really stand out to you, and for what reasons?

“I really am excited about every race on the calendar. Sebring is somewhere I have only been once, so that will be an exciting experience. That being said, our relationship with Rolex and having won once already makes this event a very special place for my team of friends, family, business, and sponsors!”

Finally, we start from second position in the LMP2 field. Tell us what you can about the game plan for the upcoming official sessions and the big race itself.

“My game plan is to push harder and harder for 24 hours. No one wins at the start so we will simply focus on doing our best to make the decisions right that lead up to the chequered flag. With every lap that passes, you get closer to the end, and the lap matters more and more.

“Every team of drivers on the grid in LMP2 is absolutely stacked, and every team’s engineering groups have all worked so hard that it will not be easy for anyone.”

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