Was the Test Day positive?
Rather positive even if we had two hours less driving during the day. With the implementation of the new neutralization procedures, we also lost a lot of time. We couldn’t work like the previous year but we have a good base. We are neither the fastest nor the slowest.
Exactly, what is your view of this new neutralization procedure?
I was not in the car at the time of the neutralization tests. The procedure is quite long due to the length of the circuit. In the end, it’s pretty well done. This new system avoids ruining a race as we have seen in the past. Personally, I think that’s a good thing.
Winning in LMP2 seems to be even more complicated this year…
The field is impressive with teams of a very high level, whether they come from the WEC or the ELMS. The Silver-rated riders are almost professionals who ride like us. Of the 24 cars at the start, I think that fifteen can win. It’s also good in Pro-Am, as we saw in the European Le Mans Series with Racing Team Turkey in Barcelona, where we won.
We worked a lot as a crew. It’s really the race we’ve wanted to win since 2021. We have this challenge between riders where the objective is to lose weight. It is therefore necessary to exercise and eat intelligently. Between the three drivers of the car, the weight gained is around 5 to 8 kg.
We must forget this final 2021…
We always think of 2021 where we lost the race in the last minutes. For two years we have been wondering how this defeat could have been possible. With Robert, the complicity is total, and this from the first time we saw each other. I learned a lot from him and grew a lot as a driver. We spend a lot of time together on and off the circuit. Rui (Andrade) is also a real added value in the crew. It takes cohesion and I have total confidence in them.
Driving with Robert Kubica is a real plus?
Technically, being with Robert makes you learn a lot. I have made good progress in understanding the set up, how to have a fast and good car over 24 hours, how to see things and how. All of this cannot be bought. Three years ago, I was not able to have this global vision of motorsport. I owe a lot to Robert. Driving in parallel in the United States helps me a lot in understanding the whole. Traffic on the track is different from single-seaters. At the beginning, I had a little trouble and IMSA helped me a lot on the subject. With three programs, I learn from all sides.
Has your start to the season at Acura in IMSA been positive?
We have a very nice car. The results weren’t necessarily up to what we had hoped for, even though we took 2nd place at the 24 Hours of Daytona, which for a first with the car is a good result. At Sebring, we were fighting for victory before going off track. As the third driver, my role is not easy because I can only lose the race. I have to put my ego aside, keep in mind that I sometimes do difficult relays. My goal is to get the car in the best possible position and I think I’ve done the job since Daytona. I am very happy with Acura, which has great confidence in me.