Andrade, Déletraz and Kubica arrived at Monza as championship leaders after their podium finish in Le Mans, and they put on a performance worthy of a title contender from the moment they hit the track at the Temple of Speed.
They finished the first two practice sessions on top and Robert secured the team’s first pole position of the season with a superb lap of 1:39.354.
Rui took the start on Sunday afternoon in the scorching Italian heat. After an incident in turn one having to avoid contact with one of the Ferrari hypercars that spun right in front of him, Rui dropped down to fourth place.
The safety car made its first appearance on track only 15 minutes into the race. Once the pit opened, almost the entire field decided to box, causing heavy traffic that caught out the #41 crew. After rejoining the race, Rui found himself driving in tenth place in class. He began to carve his way back up before passing the wheel to Kubica in P8. The Polish driver completed a blinding quadruple stint but the bad traffic and a poorly timed safety car hindered his progress. He passed the baton to Dèletraz from fourth place who continued the charge. Yet another unfortunately timed pit stop set the #41 car back again, but Louis put his foot down and clinched the final podium spot with a spectacular move on the United car on the last lap.
This is the #41 squad’s fourth podium finish of the season out of five races, and the 16 points they collected extends their lead in the LMP2 Championship standings.
“That was probably the most challenging race I’ve had in a very long time. It seemed like nothing was going our way and every time we began to recover something else happened to hinder our progress. The 41 crew however never gave up and thanks to a brilliant performance from Louis we managed to take away the final step of the podium on the last lap. We extended our championship lead which is important and now full focus is on Fuji for some redemption!”
Jamie Campbell-Walter, Managing Director, Bullet Sports Management:
“It wasn’t the race we expected to have, starting from pole position, but this is part of endurance racing. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t and this time we had one of those days when nothing goes your way. Nevertheless, Rui, Robert and Louis made the most out of the situation and climbed onto the podium. Watching Rui claim one podium after another in such a competitive championship fills me with great pride. It’s been a long journey since we started working together and watching him perform on such a high level is a great reward for all the hard work. Now with only two more races left, the focus is to stay on top of the championship battle. It won’t be an easy one but WRT has proven before what they are capable of and all three of the drivers are up to the challenge.“
The FIA World Endurance Championship now goes on a longer break before the Asian leg of the season, but Rui will be back behind the wheel this weekend for the second round of the European Le Mans Series with Inter Europol Competition at Le Castellet, France.