ELMS - 16/07/2019
The ELMS returns to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time in ten years and, in another first, the series will race into the night.
RLR MSport has had forward momentum since making a comeback to LMP2 racing, as it followed a highly respectable eighth-place result in Le Castellet by threatening the top six in the latest round of the 2019 season at Monza.
Bruno Senna has shown his class on the track and the former FIA World Endurance Champion’s guidance has been invaluable for refining the #43 ORECA’s setup, but teammates Arjun Maini and John Farano have also been mighty.
In fact, Maini’s transition from single-seater to endurance sportscar racing has been seamless, as the Indian racer has possessed winning speed and consistency, while Farano has also thrived in LMP2 machinery.
With all this, RLR MSport sees the 4 Hours of Barcelona night race as an opportunity to finally breach the top five, and Senna believes his teammates will have benefited greatly from their maiden appearances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month, saying: “I’m looking forward to Barcelona and stepping back into what is a very nice car to drive. It’s going to be tough because it’ll be very hot, regardless of the fact the race is being run at night, but Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a track I really enjoy and one I haven’t visited for a long time.
"The heat could help us against the Michelin-shod cars – I hope we will be able to push hard, rather than thinking about tyre management. Of course, it has been a couple of months since my last race with RLR MSport and I’m excited about seeing the guys again. Both Arjun (Maini) and John (Farano) are now more experienced and the 24 Hours of Le Mans would have taught them a lot, so I think we will be in a position to hit the ELMS 4 Hours of Barcelona hard.”
Despite a troubled start to the 2019 season, RLR MSport’s LMP3 trio – Christian Olsen, Martin Vedel Mortensen and Martin Rich – have made great strides in their quest for a balanced and compliant car.
As before, the main objective for the Barcelona round will be to achieve points and finish as the best-placed Ligier in the 15-car LMP3 field, and Vedel said: “I’m looking forward to racing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a good Michelin Le Mans Cup experience at Le Mans. Having had a couple of unlucky races in the European Le Mans Series, I hope we can make a strong comeback this time around.
"I expect most teams to have done some testing at Catalunya, but it will be great to race on a track where I already have some experience. I have contested a couple of night races before and I feel quite comfortable, although this will be my first in the ELMS and I expect it to be quite a challenge for some of the less experienced drivers in the field.”
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