DIFFICULT WEEKEND IN ITALY BUT POINTS MAKE PRIZES

Difficult weekend in Spain but points make prizes

Points make prizes and that’s the only way to look back on Monza. The positive thing is that at Paul Ricard and Monza, considered to be the least favourable Ligier tracks on the European Le Mans Series calendar, our #22 has posted sixth and fourth placings which leaves me sixth in the standings heading to Barcelona in July after Le Mans.

Filipe and I struggled all weekend in Spain with the #22 Ligier for some reason and worryingly couldn’t find a solution despite the best efforts of the team. P4 exceeded our expectations due to great strategy from the pit-wall while Filipe and I had ‘clean’ races but neither of us were happy with the car. We couldn’t get to the bottom of a balance issue. While our ‘sister’ #32 was able to post the second fastest race lap on its way to a third place finish, my best lap was one second slower with Filipe a further tenth off me.

Okay the race wasn’t 100% kind to me. As usual, I started the race and lost some time again behind slower cars, having to take the escape road at the chicane when overtaking one back-marker. We tried altering the tyre pressures at one pit-stop in an attempt to improve the balance, losing 15secs, and also lost out when making another stop under Full Course Yellow. I had to run half a lap at 80kph when the other leading cars ahead on track and spent less time at the restricted speed. But these are incidentals – the car was struggling.

We’ll get the Ligier back to Leeds this week and completely strip it down in preparation for the Le Mans test weekend. We need to analyse quickly where the performance loss compared to the #32 came from in the race, although it started in practice when we couldn’t achieve a good set-up. We cannot afford to have it happen again.

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