Habsburg and Deletraz were joined by LMP2 and endurance racing newcomer Juan Manuel Correa in the #9 Prema Racing Oreca for the fifth round of the European Le Mans Championship.
The iconic circuit nestled in the Ardennes forest welcomed the ELMS grid with ever-changing conditions. Saturday’s second practice session ended early for the team due to a contact, making the Prema crew work extra hard to get the car fixed for the Qualifying later in the afternoon. Thanks to the Italian team’s efforts, Louis was able to get the car out for Qualifying and secured P8 on the grid for the four hour race.
Just like in Monza, it was once again Ferdinand’s task to take the start on Sunday morning, on the still damp but drying track, and the REMUS Performance Sport Exhausts supported driver delivered a superlative opening stint, carving his way through the field into P3 before passing the wheel to Correa.
The Ecuadorian-American driver rejoined the race in P4 and completed a flawless stint on his endurance racing debut, fending off some more experienced drivers before handing the #9 Prema car over to Deletraz.
The Swiss driver went on a chase and with a perfect strategy call from Prema, he jumped the main title rival Panis Racing car in the pits, moving up to P3. Louis then began to hunt down Fittipaldi for P2 but the clock ticked down before he could make the move. He still crossed the line in third, and even though second place would have been enough for Ferdinand and Louis to seal the title, they still extended their lead to 24 points, heading to the final round in Portimão.
“We were not the fastest on track this weekend, so finishing on the podium is a great achievement – said the AVL Racetech Ambassador. We came very close to P2 which could’ve secured us the championship but we are in for another fight for that in Portimão. We still had a great race. No mistakes, no penalties, and stellar driving from my mates Louis and JM who did a terrific job on his first weekend with us. The team was spot on with the strategy call and the pit stops, so I am confident we have all it takes to win the title.”
The final race of the 2022 ELMS season will take place on October 14-16 in Portimão.