PHIL'S PORTIMÃO ELMS REFLECTIONS


After Wednesday’s practice sessions at Portimão, we felt like we were back to where we’d left off at Spa and Silverstone in terms of the balance of our Oreca. Everything looked positive ending the day on top of the time sheets which is always a good place to be, knowing that what we had done was in the right direction.

We made further progress with fine-tuning some things in practice on Friday which is always the way things go when you have a good car from the start, trying to extract the most which I am glad we did because it was a close qualifying on Saturday. Ben Hanley was quite close behind us, and that shows how high the level of competition is between the front drivers and teams. But Filipe extracted the most out of our car which I think was a bit of redemption from Silverstone. It was a good performance from Filipe and the team in quali and I was super happy to start from pole.

As for the race, it was a shame to come away with second after such a close race. Throughout most of it we led and had built-up a comfortable gap of nearly 40secs but because of Safety Cars, we lost it all and near the end, through traffic, lost the lead. Our pace was very similar to the leading car and I brought down the gap to less than a second at the finish.

Probably if we’d had another lap, I might have been able to get back in front. The victory was robbed from us this time because of the Safety cars especially when you do such a good job throughout most of the race to build-up a nice, comfortable margin and then the Safety Car ruins everything. But overall, really happy with how we ended the ELMS year on a high. And for me personally it was nice for me to set the fastest race lap. We have been competitive at different kinds of circuits with the Oreca, the team has adapted superbly to the new car and I think everyone has done a really good job this year.  The result also meant that I finished fourth in the driver’s championship.

Continued with two days of tyre testing at Portimão before flying home on Thursday. Will head to the gym over the next four days before meeting up with Filipe and the team again in Shanghai for WEC. Paul, who missed our last race at Fuji, rejoins us in China. Looking forward to it.

enlarge
enlarge
enlarge
enlarge
enlarge
enlarge
camera_alt +57