Drivers quotes from the Race Press Conference at 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps race of FIA World Endurance Championship 

Sebastien Buemi

no8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid

“Of course it’s the first race, so we’re all happy to start off the season like that. It’s also the first time we raced together with Fernando and Kazuki, so it was important to start it well.  The start was actually not so easy because of the Safety Car that came in. I don’t remember the last time that we had so many Safety Cars in a six-hour race.   Somehow the lead kept getting smaller and smaller, but in the end it all went well. It’s just a big warm-up for Le Mans. We keep in mind that the next race is the most important one.”

Fernando Alonso

no8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid

“Definitely, I am delighted with the result. The whole weekend has been amazing in terms of team performance, a one-two in qualy, a one-two in the race.  There’s been a lot of preparation into this project with winter testing, with simulator, with a lot of people in the factory building these two cars. Then you have to come to the races and deliver the results.  I think we executed the race in the best way we could, and extremely happy to win my first endurance race. Seb and Kazuki I think did an amazing job, made my life a little bit easier, and thanks to everyone in the team.”

Kazuki Nakajima

no8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid

“I’m very happy to win the first race of the season, and a first win together with Seb and Fernando. I feel great and a bit relieved because my stint started very bad.  A lot happened and a lot of mistakes from my side as well.But then from there I managed to get back the pace.  The triple stint was tricky, but I’m happy to complete the job I had to do.”

Stefan Mücke

no66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT

“I can tell you it was a very interesting two hours at the beginning of the race. Turn 1 was quite slippery, so I locked up the brakes a little bit, Harry (Tincknell) did the same, but I managed to have a tighter line.  I think that was a key thing. For the first hour and a half we managed to stay in the lead position until we got pushed off a little bit by an LMP2 car which then brought us into second position. It was a hard fight from them. We knew we had to look after our tyres. The team did a great job with the strategy, and we slowly worked our way back.

Olivier Pla

no66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT

“I knew on the last stint that the #91 didn’t change tyres and I had two new tyres on the left, the #92 also.  So I was trying just to pass him as quick as I can and try to put the gap because I didn’t really know what the pace could have been from Porsche at the end.  That’s what I was trying to do and it just worked, so very pleasing. It was a difficult season last year, a lot of pace but always something, some drama and bad luck cost us some results. We are really happy. My team and my teammates did a perfect job all weekend. The car has been fantastic. Let’s keep going like that.”

Billy Johnson

no66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT

“(The win) is definitely right up there near the top of my career. To be one of the development drivers on the Ford GT and to be able to race it is a huge honour, and to be able to win in that car obviously just brings that thing full circle and is a dream come true.  I love driving with these guys, and it’s great to have such a great start to the 2018/19 super season. I couldn’t ask for much more than this.”

Jean-Eric Vergne

no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson

“I think it was an amazing win. Obviously we don’t win in endurance without two good drivers and a good team, so big thanks to them. I think I did five stints in total. The first two stints I drove, we pushed really hard. I think we extended the gap to 1m20-something. Then when I took back the car, we kept extending the lead, and then we had the Safety Car, so the lead went down to 12 seconds and I had to push again. Then I left, just didn’t do any mistakes, and went across the finishing line first.”

Andrea Pizzitola

no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson

“I’m really happy to have the chance this year to be in a winning car. It’s important. Then you can do your maximum and when you do well, you win or you’re on the podium. So I’m really happy about that. The team did a great job, no mistakes all weekend, and the car was great, so what can I say? I’m just very happy”

Mathias Lauda

no98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage

“It’s really tough here to overtake the cars, and it took me a while to overtake him. But then once I could pass him, I could open a really nice gap. But then every time we had a Safety Car, the gap went down to zero, so it was a really tough race.  Pedro did a really good job in the last stint to hold the pressure from behind and bring home the win. It’s our fourth win here at Spa, and our fourth win in a row. It’s our best track, so it’s great to be back and winning.”

Paul Dalla Lana

no98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage

“A little bit unexpected I think, just given the pace of some of our competitors earlier in the weekend. I think we capitalised on early-season mistakes and teething pains and just ran a clean race.  Obviously racing at Spa in the sunshine and in front of a crowd like this is a dream for every driver. So thank you to all the fans, great time had. I am super happy.”

Pedro Lamy

no98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage

“It was really close here. We had like 30 seconds in front of the second car, and I was quite relaxed when I was coming to the car, and then suddenly comes the Safety Car, and nothing I could do.  We just went to the last stint and tried to keep the first place. The TF Sport Aston was really fast.  They had new tyres I didn’t have, so it was a different gap there. With the traffic I was a bit faster, and it’s easier to be in front because with the fast corners, the guys behind cannot catch a lot. They cannot try to overtake because it’s opening quite a bit of a track. Then I kept first place until the end, that was the target, and I did it.”

 

 

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