Picture © JEP/ ELMS
ELMS - 23/10/2019 - Press release - RLR MSport
In LMP2, RLR MSport has shown itself to be a regular threat for top six finishes at the very least, but misfortune has prevented the Bolton team from converting its undeniable pace into representative results in the first five rounds of the 2019 season.
Since returning to the LMP2 grid with a sole ORECA 07 at the start of the year, RLR MSport and drivers Bruno Senna, Arjun Maini and John Farano have set the pace in free practice, qualified at the sharp end and led a race outright.
Understandably, there’s a feeling within the team that it is due a strong points finish, and it remains confident that it will feature highly in the 18-strong LMP2 field in the concluding part of the 2019 ELMS at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
“It has been a trying season for us, but it’s always difficult for a new team to enter LMP2, which is very competitive,” said Senna. “We’ve had very good pace in most races, but bad luck, incidents or tricky conditions have prevented us from going forward. Having said that, RLR MSport has performed really well and I’m excited about ending the season on a high. I think Arjun (Maini) and John (Farano) will be very strong.
“Portimao is tough and very demanding on both the cars and the drivers. I first drove the track in wet conditions at night, which was quite tricky, but I’ve always been pretty decent there. It’s a big challenge to get everything dialled in, and while I expect the car to be well balanced from the outset, the focus will be on finding stability over the bumps.”
Maini added: “I raced in Portimao once before in 2015, but I don’t remember it that well and I’ll be using the first practice session to get reacquainted with the circuit. It’s the only track on the European Le Mans Series calendar that I don’t really know, but I have plenty of time to get my head around it and extract some speed from the car. All year we’ve had really good pace in the car, but the luck hasn’t run with us. Sometimes things don't go to plan, but I’m hopeful that it will all come together in Portugal and I think we would be quite happy with a top six finish to end the season."
Fate continued conspiring against RLR MSport’s LMP3 crew in last month’s ELMS 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, as contact from a GTE Ferrari necessitated a lengthy repair stop that cost Christian Olsen, Martin Rich and Martin Vedel Mortensen a strong points finish.
The trio has been more than capable of finishing in the upper reaches of the top ten all year and has one more opportunity to achieve a truly representative result in the season-ending Portuguese leg of the ELMS, on the undulating and technically demanding Portimao circuit.
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