RACING

Monza post-race diary – Sportscar365

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Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

***Alpine’s Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere increased their FIA World Endurance Hypercar Drivers’ Championship lead to 10 points by winning the 6 Hours of Monza. They arrived at the event just three points ahead of the No. 8 Toyota lineup of Sebastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley.

*** Glickenhaus Racing’s turbo-related retirement dropped its drivers Olivier Pla and Romain Dumas to fourth place behind the No. 7 Toyota crew in the championship standings.

***Will Stevens, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez increased their LMP2 lead from 11 points to 19 points by finishing second. However, all crews up to and including tenth-placed United Autosports’ No.22 line-up remain in mathematical contention with two rounds to go.

*** James Allen, Rene Binder and Steven Thomas (Algarve Pro Racing) take the LMP2 Pro-Am points lead ahead of Nicklas Nielsen, Alessio Rovera and François Perrodo (AF Corse).

***Reigning Ferrari champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took the GTE World Championship points lead for the first time this season. It’s a tight lead in the standings, with Gianmaria Bruni just one behind and fellow Porsche drivers Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen two points behind.

*** A USB stick was the cause of the passing penalty that knocked the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo from the GTE-Pro lead and arguably cost it the win. The storage device containing the car data was not transferred to Race Control after a pit stop.

*** Despite losing a chance to win at home, Pier Guidi felt happier at Monza than he did at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa, which he won, as the Ferraris were more competitive after a change of “black ball” BoP. “At Spa we won, but we knew we had no pace or performance,” he told Sportscar365. “As for the future, we are competitive and we can fight for the championship now.”

***The #51 Ferrari was also handed a drive-through penalty suspended until the end of the season – provided there is no recurrence – for Pier Guidi “failing to comply instructions from the race director at the start to reduce the gap”. [to] 232 meters”.

*** JOTA was fined €3,000 (US$3,036) due to the head lighting system of its No. 28 Oreca “not working for several laps” according to a report from the stewards after the race.

***While the #41 WRT team car won LMP2, the #31 sister car suffered yet another setback in its title defense when it encountered both a puncture and a coolant leak . “The pace was good, we were one of the fastest cars, but we got this leak and went a few laps in the box, and that was it,” said Robin Frijns.

***Vector Sport team principal Gary Holland said he hoped his team’s first-ever LMP2 podium would “pay back some of the confidence the ACO has shown in us as a new team” . He added: “I’m very happy that we can take the fight against the teams that have been doing it for about 10 years.”

*** The British team’s third place finish is a significant improvement on their previous best championship finish when they finished tenth at Spa in May.

*** TF Sport driver Henrique Chaves’ air crash at the second chicane triggered generalized reaction on social media, from people involved in the WEC and other motorsports, regarding the use of ‘sausage’ curbs at track boundaries. Almost all expressed concern about the way the long, rounded curbs launched the Aston Martin Vantage GTE into the air, with some calling for their removal altogether.

*** WEC cargo leaves for Fuji on Tuesday, so TF Sport is putting one of its Aston Martin European Le Mans Series in the containers, having raced it at Monza the weekend before last. The team will then assess the crashed #33 car to determine the extent of the damage and see if it can be airlifted to Japan.

*** Despite having their cars retired, Marco Sorensen and Ben Keating still lead the GTE-Am Drivers’ Championship, albeit with a narrow four-point margin over NorthWest AMR’s David Pittard, Nicki Thiim and Paul Dalla Lana.

***With its GTE-Pro class win at Monza, Corvette Racing became the first US-based team to win a regular season WEC race since DragonSpeed ​​took LMP2 class honors at Spa in 2019.

***Nick Tandy has become only the third driver in WEC history to win in three different categories after Bruno Senna and Harry Tincknell. Tandy had already won in LMP2 at the Nürburgring with KCMG in 2015, a month after his overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Robert Schwartzman, currently a test driver with Ferrari’s Formula 1 team, was present at Monza. The Russian driver, who won the 2019 FIA Formula 3 title with Prema, was there with Estonian Ralf Aron who also competed for Prema in F3. Bart Mampaey, owner of the famous RBM touring car team, was also on hand.

*** Like Peugeot, Toyota will bring its LMH cars back to base to work on after Monza, before flying them at the 6 Hours of Fuji. “The cars fly,” said Toyota’s WEC technical director Pascal Vasselon. “The rest of the equipment is on the boat.”

***Vasselon described the race as “quite difficult” in terms of handling the new open differential hardware that Toyota is using now and will have to use from next year. In terms of tire life, the Toyota GR010 hybrids peaked in double stints.

*** Jim Glickenhaus said his team received no warning signs before the end-of-race turbocharger failed on his No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo. “There was nothing wrong,” Glickenhaus told Sportscar365. “There was no oil leak, no intercooler issue, there was no pressure issue, it was just a catastrophic turbo failure.”

*** Glickenhaus said Pipo Derani’s passing penalty was the result of “not pressing the yellow Full Course button quickly”, but felt the #708 car was fast enough to have been able to recover if the turbo failure had not occurred. “I think we probably would have won, I think so,” Glickenhaus said.

***Sebastien Buemi of Toyota described the Glickenhaus as being “on another planet” before its sudden turbo failure. Romain Dumas set the fastest lap of the race in the American car: a time of 1:36.589 on lap four, more than a second faster than the other Hypercar drivers.

***Porsche placed Richard Lietz’s helmet on its #91 car during the pre-grid, with a “get well soon!” message attached to the visor after the Austrian tested positive for COVID-19.

***Sunday’s race failed to break last year’s distance record on the WEC’s second visit to Monza. Negrao, Vaxiviere and Lapierre completed 194 laps en route to their second win of the season – ten less than Toyota’s No.7 crew nearly 12 months ago.

***Lapierre has “a few plans” for next year and plans to continue racing in the European Le Mans Series with the Cool Racing team he owns. The 2024 Alpine LMDh program should also play a role: “I would love to be part of the LMDh program, that’s the idea,” Lapierre told Sportscar365.

Davey Euwema contributed to this report



Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.


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