Lechner Racing Porsche Supercup
The Walls of Monaco – Cruel to BWT Lechner Racing Drivers
The walls of Monaco were a bit too close for the BWT Lechner Racing drivers at qualifying for the first race of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2021, showing again how cruel this classic track in the streets of the principality can be even for the best.
Dylan Pereira was the first victim, as he made a little mistake on his first fast lap in turn 3, going up to the Casino, a small error that cost him dearly: „I slightly locked up the brakes, and that was it“, he had to accept the cruel fact that the street circuit in the principality is absolutely unforgiving. Touching the barrier with the front and the rear of the car, his qualifying was over due to a damaged radiator. Bitterly disappointed to have lost his chance for glory at this precious event after being fastest in free practice on Thursday, he remained sitting in the car in the pitlane for the rest of the session, knowing that starting from the last row of the grid will leave him with an impossible task for the race on Sunday.
Just a little bit later, Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven had his brush with fate and an armco at the infamous swimming pool chicane. After going over the curbs a little bit too hard, his car was thrown high in the air and he touched with the rear end at the exit of the chicane, damaging his rear wing and also the right rear suspension. “It was my mistake, no discussion about that. I want to apologize for it to the team and also really thank the guys for the great job they did to get the car ready again in time for me to do a second run.” Even without a proper preparation, Güven managed to claim P5 on the grid in the end, only less then 5 tenth of a second behind pole sitter Larry ten Voorde. “The car was so good, there was so much possible today”, the 22-year-old from Turkey stated. “I even set the time in the very end, with the tyres already rather gone, as I was stuck in traffic before. That´s the only positive thing we can take out of today: The speed is there, we are really competitive.”
The third BWT Lechner Racing driver, JB Simmenauer, finished in P13. “It was a bit difficult, I flat-spotted the second set of tyres, so there was not much of an improvement”, said the Monaco rookie, who also touched the armco at the swimming pool at the end of the session, doing severe damage to the front and rear end of his car.
Tio Ellinas from Team Lechner Racing Middle East ended up in P9, feeling slightly hampered by traffic in the final and decisive part of qualifying. Nicolas Misslin came second in the Pro-Am category behind Roar Lindland on track, after not being able to improve in his last outing, “as he blocked me deliberately not only once.” But later he received a three-place grid penalty for setting one of his fastest sectors under a Yellow Flag, not slowing down enough. “Even with this set-back, I am still aiming for a podium finish in by home race”, the Monte Carlo resident was adamant.
Lechner Racing Team Principal and CEO Robert Lechner had to deal with the disappointment, but also stated to have been well aware of the risks always involved in Monaco: “It is always very close here. Not only in terms of laptimes, but also in terms of getting it right while taking the necessary risks you have to take to be up front and getting it wrong, ending up in a wall. I said yesterday when we were first, third and sixth that I would have loved this to have been qualifying already and I would take the result immediately. I knew then that it could not get any better. But honestly I did not expect it to get so bad. But from hero to zero happens very quickly here and today we were on the receiving end of this fact, due to some driver errors. The team did a great job to get Ayhancan´s car out again in time, so he could do at least some damage limitation.”
Team Manager Michael Schöch emphasized the importance of having a great team especially in a tough situation: “On a difficult day like this, it is even more important that we all stand together, working hand in had to get back on track. Of course there will be a lot of work for all now, night shifts and nothing of the free Saturday we usually enjoy here in Monaco. But we will manage, it´s in the DNA of this team to be able to bounce back together.”