Romain Grosjean is redoing his ranges

Romain Grosjean is back in Grand Touring. 13 years after his participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Matech Competition at the wheel of a Ford GT1, it is with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 that the Frenchman must resume his marks on the occasion of the 24 Hours of Daytona 2023.

Inevitably, in more than a decade, many things have changed.  » I have a lot to discover with the GT3 and the circuit, even if the latter is not the most complicated, but also to rediscover the feeling of sharing my car with teammates after so many years, explains Romain Grosjean to AUTOweekly.

It’s quite different from what I remembered. The only thing I found that I was used to 13 years ago is that the car moves a lot. It’s still GT, but it’s also very different. In GT1, we didn’t have ABS or traction control. It allows you to discover new things. It’s great to gain experience like this. When I see the prototypes pass, I tell myself that I would like to be in it, but that will be for next year! »

Romain Grosjean Lamborghini Iron Lynx Daytona

Romain Grosjean drives the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini at Daytona (Photo: Iron Lynx)

While waiting for 2024, the Habs are discovering their new stable, Iron Lynx. In Florida, he shares No. 63 of the Italian team with Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper. Drivers experienced in GT who guide the accustomed to the single-seater.

 » The atmosphere is great in the team, the other drivers help me a lot, admits Grosjean. I still have to improve on two corners where I’m not on top. The hardest thing to understand is ABS, especially since the brakes are normally my strong point in motorsport, so that’s a bit neglected. I need to get used to it. We are starting to have a decent rhythm, the settings are defined and good. All you have to do is leave within 24 hours. »

A Lamborghini a little tight in top speed

Reliability will be a key factor on the Florida classic. However, the green Lamborghini experienced an alert during Free Practice 1 on Thursday when it came to a stop at the edge of the track because of a problem with the transmission shaft. However, this is not what worries Romain Grosjean the most before the event.

 » The only downside is our top speed. This will make racing in a peloton a little more complicated “Admits the former Formula 1 driver. Especially since the quartet will start from 42nd position on the grid, in 6th in the GTD Pro category. For the start, Jordan Pepper will be driving. Like the new Porsche and Ferrari, the new evolution of the GT3 from Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy) struggles to reach the same level as the Mercedes-AMG.

 » The Mercedes and Aston Martin are really far ahead, Lexus next, Judge Grosjean. The three new cars are suffering a bit, although we are the best in this trio. We will have to optimize our chances of racing. American races are different from those contested in Europe. Every time there is a Safety Car, it puts everyone back in the game. You have to be there at the right time, have the right strategy and have a little more fuel than the others so that you don’t have to stop when everyone is in the pits. »

Romain Grosjean at Daytona (Photo: Iron Lynx)

Romain Grosjean at Daytona (Photo: Iron Lynx)

The Andretti Autosport driver in IndyCar must also get used to traffic management and continue to make his mark with his new machine. The Habs have thus identified the corners where they can still improve.  » I enter the Bus Stop chicane too hard and I come out badly, whereas before it was the opposite. And at the hairpin, I have to use ABS more to better prepare for the exit. I am tempted to turn it off, but it seems that it does not work, so I keep it! »

Romain Grosjean seems to have found the right compromise. After our interview, the Frenchman took second place in his class in Free Practice 4 in Florida, the last running session for the GTD Pros before the race, just 0.038 seconds behind the #79 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 Racing. See you at 7:40 p.m. (French time) this Saturday for the start of the 61st edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona.

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