FIRST ASIAN LMS VICTORY LEAVES ME A LITTLE UNDERWHELMED

Phil Hanson left feeling underwhelmed following first ALMS victory

“It sounds bizarre but I wasn’t that overwhelmed or excited to have scored my maiden Asian Le Mans Series win last Saturday evening – which maybe sounds ungrateful or blasé – so let me explain.

I’m someone who needs to earn something like a race win, I want to be challenged and fight for glory – and not get something handed on a plate. It was a bit like that in ELMS last year when Filipe and I won at Spa in the red-flagged Spa race. I got much more pleasure from our Portimão victory in the next race.

And while United Autosports fully deserve its maiden outright Asian LMS race win and especially our LMP2 Team Manager Trevor Foster, the #22’s engineer Gary Robertshaw and the rest of our crew who all work so very hard for us, Paul [Di Resta] and I were never seriously challenged.

I was maybe overly cautious at the start and dropped to third from my front row start but I was in the lead by lap four and our car was never headed all the way to the chequered flag after 158-laps. In the end we took the chequered flag 2mins 18secs ahead of the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier of Andrea Pizzitola/Harrison Newey/Ate Dirk De Jong.

The #24 started from pole-position and had very good pace but suffered contact with a GT car plus a puncture costing them valuable time. Meanwhile Paul and I had a completely trouble-free run combined with a great strategy call from Gary to pit me under Full Course Yellow conditions.

Our lead was 41secs, 45secs and 58secs after hour one, two and three so as you can see, we had a very comfortable time in the 4 Hours of Buriram. As ‘comfortable’ as you could possibly be racing in an ambient temperature in the mid-30s in a closed cockpit car with no air conditioning!

I don’t think Buriram was our strongest performance, I believe the previous race at Fuji was stronger and maybe even the opening race in Shanghai. I struggled a little with my pace in practice but thankfully it was better for qualifying. Our Ligier wasn’t bad in any respect but I don’t think it was as good as we’d had it in China or Japan for whatever reason. The reason could be as simple as the configuration of the Chang circuit.

But like I say, I’ll take it, it’s a great way to start 2019. We go to Malaysia next month with an 18-point lead, with a maximum of 26pts on offer at Sepang. I’d love to seal the title with another victory – that would bring a smile to my face!”

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@PHILHANSONRACE

Jan 15
I may have scored my maiden @AsianLMS win but feeling a little underwhelmed. Sounds bizarre I know, so have a read of my latest journal and all will become clear! #4HBuriram #EnduranceRacingforAsia #AsianLeMans https://t.co/nUILlWEF6o
Jan 12
@AsianLMS Apologies for the "radio"silence but I've only just gone and won my first #AsianLeMans race! Winner, winner chicken dinner in the #4HBuriram - quite apt for here in Thailand! Sincere thanks to @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv #EnduranceRacingforAsia
Jan 11
@AsianLMS At 11.45am / 4.45am (UK) I'll start the #22 @LigierAutomotiv from the #4HBuriram front row aiming along with @PaulDiResta to extend our #AsianLeMans champ lead. It's going to hot and humid but @UnitedAutosport has given us a fantastic car to fight for our maiden win
Jan 11
@AsianLMS P2 in qually for tomorrow's #4HBuriram - second consecutive front row start for the #22 @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv#AsianLeMans #EnduranceRacingforAsia
Jan 11
@AsianLMS P3 in FP2 which was interrupted for 75mins due to Red Flag. FCY disrupted what would have been my quickest lap. Qualifying next 5pm/10am UK so no excuses not to watch live back home @UnitedAutosport https://t.co/hevu4s9url #4HBuriram #AsianLeMans #EnduranceRacingforAsia
Jan 11
@AsianLMS Good long full tank run in this morning's FP1. @PaulDiResta set our best time for P2. My time would have put us P3. Importantly another 51-laps under our belt. FP2 at 12.30 (local) @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv #4HBuriram #AsianLeMans #EnduranceRacingforAsia
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