After a strong start to the season at the Circuit de Catalunya two weeks ago, Pescarolo Sport’s Harold Primat heads to Monza this weekend looking for a repeat performance at round 2 of the 2008 Le Mans Series. Sixth in class, and third best of the petrol-powered LMP1 cars, was reason for encouragement in Barcelona and the Geneva-based driver is now eagerly anticipating racing at the high-speed Italian circuit.
Harold on the last round – “Overall we were happy with our performance at Barcelona. It was evident from the first day of practice that the level of competition has gone up a notch this year, so to finish second and third of the petrol-powered LMP1 cars was quite satisfying for the team. My team mate, Christophe Tinseau, and I were consistent with our lap times and the car ran without fault so it was a pleasing opening to the season. In terms of the championship it was fantastic to see a healthy crowd on race day. How many of them just came to see their countryman Marc Gene, we don’t know, so the real acid test will be in Monza when we see how many spectators turn up. With such a high quality field, the Le Mans Series is a real spectacle this year so hopefully the fans will come out and continue to support it.”
...on Monza – “Monza has a unique atmosphere. Obviously it has an incredible motorsport history, but also the fact that it’s set in a park makes it extra special. You’re surrounded by trees for much of the lap and it gives the impression that you’re driving a stage of the World Rally Championship rather than on a circuit!”
...on the circuit - “I’d never raced at Monza before until last year so this weekend I won’t have to learn the circuit like last time, which is always an advantage. It goes without saying that this is a very fast track, but even though there aren’t that many corners, they still provide a genuine challenge. There are so many long straights, we run very little downforce, so that makes the turns much more of a challenge. The Parabolica is my favourite, a legendary corner and very quick, and I also like the Ascari chicane which is fast and quite technical. The circuit suits the Le Mans Series because it is 3.6 miles long and the track is quite wide, so the traffic isn’t as much of a problem as it is at some other tracks.”
…on Pescarolo Sport’s chances – “The Pescarolo 01-Judd is usually fast on the straights so hopefully that will be an advantage for us at Monza. However we can’t ignore the Courage-Orecas and Creations who will expect to bounce back after suffering some reliability problems in Barcelona. I don’t think the overall order will change too much. I expect the Audis and the Peugeots, as well as the Lola Aston Martin to be at the front. Then there will be a big pack of LMP1 cars fighting each other and it’s our aim to finish at the head of that group.”
The Monza 1000kms will be screened LIVE on Motors TV and Eurosport on Sunday 27 April. For further listings information, please visit motorstv.com and eurosport.com.