Prema ORLEN Team scores sixth-place finish at Monza
Lining up for round four of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship, Prema ORLEN Team finished the 6 Hours of Monza in sixth place. The team showed great potential in practice and secured P6 in qualifying for the race, a good starting point for Sunday.
With Monza coming to life with plenty of fans to cheer for teams and drivers, Louis Delétraz drove the #9 Oreca 07 LMP2 for the race start. The Swissman quickly powered through the field and got one contender after the other, eventually moving to P1 in a flawless display.
Lorenzo Colombo took over and delivered a solid pace, maximizing the performance in a part of the race hit by safety-car and Full Course Yellow situations. Unfortunately, one of the disruptions affected Prema ORLEN Team, and cost the 21-year-old Italian valuable ground and track position.
Robert Kubica was the next in the car and was tasked with a recovery. Unfortunately, after going by one of his contenders, the Pole had contact with another car at the first chicane and was assessed a drive-through penalty which brought him down to P7. From that point on, the race was going to be difficult to overturn without safety cars coming into play, and the team could only gain one spot to P6.
The team is already planning for next September's Fuji event. It will be the first time for the team on Japanese soil and everyone is looking forward to the challenge.
#9 - Lorenzo Colombo
"The day didn't turn out in our favour, we started really strong with Louis behind the wheel, he stayed cool at the beginning with the bronze drivers, but then he picked up the pace and took the lead. Then in my stint, the race got very eventful with the safety car and full-course-yellow. Other teams benefitted from that while we were unlucky. It happens though in a six-hour race. Then we got a penalty, and as always in WEC, penalties carry a heavy weight. Now I look forward to the next round in Japan, I've never been there. It will be special."
#9 - Louis Delétraz
"I took an easy start, and then I went slowly through the field. We took the lead and opened up a bit of a gap before giving the car to my teammates. Everyone did a great job, but we got very unlucky with the safety car. The penalty didn't help. It's part of racing, and I think we still performed really well. Today was just not our day. The next round will be in Japan, it will be my first time there, and I look forward to discovering the Fuji track."
#9 - Robert Kubica
"It has been a two-sided race. The first part was good, and everything was going in a good direction. Then there was a big accident, so the safety car regrouped the pack. Some cars got lucky with the strategy, but we lost quite a lot of ground. I got in the car and tried to get a bit of ground back, and it was not easy to follow and overtake other cars. I overtook the Vector Sport car but unfortunately, braking into turn 1, I locked the rears, and as car #1 moved back in the racing line, I found myself with no space. I made contact with him when he was turning so he spun, and we got a penalty. I could still make the corner, but I didn't know if he would be stuck in front of me, so I went left and lost a few more seconds. From that point, it was complicated, but we still finished in P6. It's the second race where we are not lucky with red flags or safety cars, but that's how it is."