TEAM PROJECT 1 CELEBRATE PODIUM SUCCESS IN MONZA
Fans in Monza on 10 July saw one of the most eventful races in the history of the FIA World Endurance Championship. After an action-packed six hours, Project 1 returned to the podium after Matteo Cairoli, Mikkel O. Pedersen and Niki Leutwiler recovered brilliantly to finish third in the LMGTE Am category.
“After the disappointment of Le Mans a few weeks ago, we finally had a chance to show who we are,” said Team Principal Axel Funke with pride. “Overcoming adversity is all about working together as a team. That’s how we achieved our podium with the #46 car today. Our drivers in the #56 fought back well and showed some impressive pace after an unfortunate start. I think we performed well as a team here and brought both cars home. That was our top priority for this weekend.”
Matteo Cairoli, Mikkel O. Pedersen and Niki Leutwiler in the #46 Porsche 911 RSR started the race from tenth on the grid. Starting driver Leutwiler managed to work his way up the field in the opening stint and establish himself in the top 5. His teammates picked up where the Swiss driver left off to secure the podium finish. After 178 laps of the historic circuit in northern Italy, Cairoli crossed the line in third position. The trio picked up some valuable points in the championship battle, after retirements at the season-opener in Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The result for Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy and Ben Barnicoat wasn’t quite as pleasing. After a spin on the way to the grid, the #56 car had to start the race from the pit lane. This was particularly bitter: As required by the regulations, the team also had to start one lap behind the field.
The three drivers in the Porsche, entered in partnership with Optimum Motorsport and Inception Racing, still put together an impressive recovery drive with quick and consistent lap times. Ultimately the car finished tenth in the LMGTE Am class.
The race in Monza marked the conclusion of the European part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “Now it’s time to pack everything up and head out to Fuji in September,” said Axel Funke. “But before we do that we will get together as a team and raise a glass to the season so far. Then we will take a break for two weeks and recharge the batteries, so we are fully prepared to take on the remainder of the season.”