François Perrodo: “It’s a special day for me because I last triumphed in the WEC right here, along with Emmanuel [Collard, Editor’s note]. We knew it wouldn’t be easy because the GT cars are more difficult than the LMPs I’ve driven lately. In my first two stints, I tried to keep up with the leaders. Emmanuel drove perfectly in the rain and Nicklas [Nielsen, ed], our Silver driver, was really fast”.
Emmanuel Collard: “When I climbed into the cockpit of my 488 GTE it started to rain, and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t worried because I’d never driven this car before in the wet. To this, we can add my inactivity over the past two and a half years. I was able to handle the situation, and when the track started to dry out, I lapped at a good pace. The 488 GTE was perfect, we had no technical problems, and the balance was fantastic”.
Nicklas Nielsen: “I tried to pass Barker for a couple of laps, but it wasn’t possible. When he made a mistake coming out of Becketts, I thought it was the right time and attacked him at Stowe. I chose the external trajectory and, at that moment, I was quite tense. Luckily for me, the manoeuvre ended really well, and I was able to take the race lead”.
Olivier Beretta: “I’m very happy for the team and the mechanics who have been doing a great job since last year. I’m also happy for Motoaki [Ishikawa, Editor’s note] because during the winter we had a lot of discussions about how to organise the work differently to get back to the results we wanted. I didn’t think I’d mount the podium in the first race, but so much the better. Kei [Cozzolino, Editor’s note] was really fantastic, considering he didn’t know anyone on the team. From the first session, he adapted to the best of his abilities. We worked well together, and we think similarly about the car’s set-up. Having similar driving styles is another help. I am also happy to have shared the podium with a car from AF Corse. It is the right result for the team’s efforts”.
Motoaki Ischikawa: “Today is our first podium in the WEC, I’m delighted with this result. I’d like to thank Olivier [Beretta, Editor’s note.] Kei [Cozzolino, Editor’s note] for helping me achieve this”.
Kei Cozzolino: “I’m especially happy for the team which mounted the podium in the WEC for the first time. I’d like to thank Motoaki [Ishikawa, Editor’s note.] for having trusted me and allowed me to realise my dream of participating in the WEC. I am happy to have played an active part in this result also by helping Motoaki in the technical discussion with the team that first and foremost benefited his performance. Olivier, with his experience, kept up an excellent pace when the track conditions were tough. I received a drive-through for veering off the track on several occasions but to be honest, in many cases, I was helping the prototypes to lap, without gaining any time. Without this penalty, we might have been able to fight for the win. Besides that, the car was fantastic to drive in the race and with this result we have shown above all to ourselves that we are capable of fighting for the championship”.