Phil Hanson ready for Rd 3 of ELMS at Red Bull Ring

“Yeah, so after Le Mans a lot of people will sometimes stop training as hard because the big race is done, but I’ve got to train, for the rest of this season and obviously for next year. I always think that I can be fitter and push myself further which hopefully then helps towards better results. The way I look at it is if my fitness is improved, that’s one thing off my mind and possibly something that will give me an advantage over other drivers, so I’m always pushing that element.

It was a good job as my recent race at Watkins Glen was actually pretty tough in terms of the high ambient temperature combined with the high G-force nature of the track. In retrospect, the American race took me a little by surprise in how much it took out of me especially bearing in mind it was two and a half hour stints compared to Le Mans where I did 6 or 7 hours so that was interesting.

Next stop is the European Le Mans Series after a 10-week break since Monza in mid-May. Going back to ELMS will be a nice change after America - I enjoy racing in Europe more than in America because at least with what we’ve seen out there so far this season, it’s a bit more consistent with the officials and the adjudication process for on-track issues. The World Endurance Championship and ELMS officials seem to do a better job than their counterparts in IMSA – that’s my personal impression anyway after three races over there this year. It makes racing much more enjoyable when you know everyone’s going by the same rulebook and in a fair manner because the rules are being upheld by the officials, and you have to see them through otherwise you’ll be penalized which is fair enough.

I like the Red Bull Ring. It’s actually one of my favourite ELMS tracks and I’ve always been pretty quick around there. The facilities are amazing. The track surface is fantastic. The atmosphere is really nice and it’s in the mountains so it’s very picturesque. There’s normally a decent crowd for a sportscar race too. So all in all I’m really looking forward to heading there later this month.

Looking back on the opening six races of 2018 for me, there’s no getting away from the fact it’s been a really unlucky start. I feel like we should have come away with podiums at the very least in most and perhaps the odd race win. Sebring should have been a podium, likewise at Le Mans while at Watkins Glen a win was on the cards! Monza was also a potential podium, but definitely top-5, so unfortunately we need to get rid of this bad luck and I’m that’s from our next race!

Of course our sport can be a bit of a luck game but we don’t need good luck to succeed. That said, we don’t need any bad luck and unfortunately in the last three races especially, we’ve had poor luck. It’s a shame but what I believe is that when we do get rid of this bad luck, and we start getting clean racing, we’ll be unstoppable. Hopefully, it comes to and in Austria when it’s just Filipe and I, back to a two driver line-up. I feel comfortable there and quick plus Filipe’s pretty much quick wherever he goes so hopefully it will be a strong race for us. Keep your fingers crossed for us – especially as I’m a year older!”

Red Bull Ring

11 July 2018

Ready to shake the bad luck and hit a winning streak at Red Bull Ring