The French Panis Racing squad climbed onto the second step on the podium at the end of the 4 Hours of Portimao. They sealed the Runner-up position of the 2022 ELMS season and earned an invitation to the next 24 Hours of Le Mans.
On Saturday, Job Van Uitert was on track for the qualifying session onboard the #65 Oreca. He set the fourth fastest lap around the Portimao circuit.
Julien Canal started the race under very difficult conditions due to a wet track. He drove very well despite slick tires. Afterwards, Nico Jamin superbly did all he needed to stay in front of the Cool Racing car and never gave up against the assaults of Nicolas Lapierre. Before finally handing the car over to Job Van Uitert for the last stint. The Dutch once again showed how quick he is and crossed the chequered flag in P2. Thanks to the pace of drivers, the strategy of the engineers and the dexterity of the mechanics during the pit stops, the team led by Olivier Panis, Sarah and Simon Abadie is crowned Runner-up of the 2022 ELMS season.
Olivier Panis - Team Principal:"It’s a very positive outcome for us. Congratulations to our three fantastic drivers, to Florent Gouin our Technical Director – the true pillar of the team-, to each of our engineers, to our mechanics who made incredible pit stops, to our dear press officer, to our physio, and to everyone around us. You share and feed our common passion for this sport together with Sarah and Simon (Abadie) and our partner Stéphane Dilouya. We all have put a lot of energy in and made huge sacrifices to get there. I am very grateful. This Vice-Champion result reflects the workload and the progress from one year to another. It’s coming from a joint effort and from what’s define us: “people first!”
Congratulations to Prema Racing who deserves the title. Next year, we will try to win both championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans where we were also fighting for the podium in LMP2 this year before an unfortunate incident as it sometimes happens in motorsport.
Thank you to the ELMS organization for the quality of the championship and to the ACO for the invitation to experience Le Mans once again.
Julien Canal: "The start of the race in Portugal was difficult because of the wet track… on slick tires. We had to stay on track while not losing time. Afterwards, we all did very solid stints and kept our cool head. My two team-mates did a great job in difficult circumstances, with some cool fights against Cool Racing, among others. To be on the second step of the final podium is the logical conclusion of our performances this year and of our progression season after season with the team. I am happy to be part of the Panis Racing/Tech1 Racing history, to live this sporting journey and share all the human qualities in there. In 2023, we'll give our best to move one step further and win this European championship! Olivier, Sarah and Simon can be proud of everyone in the team: engineers, mechanics and all those who worked with us throughout the season. Thank you all!"
Nico Jamin: "I'm very happy with the way the last race went. We were eager to keep our second place in the Championship with the hope of why not being crowned champion… Even if the points gap left little hope. Let's face the truth: Prema Racing was again a little bit better than us in Portimao. I had another fantastic season with Panis Racing. Thank you all for allowing us to perform well in each race of the season. We can be proud of this result! I want to thank all the engineers as well for the strategies applied and to the mechanics for the incredible pit stops!"
Job van Uitert: "I am really pleased with that last race of the season. It was one of the hardest endurance race I ever had. Even for the team, I think. We all started when it was raining. It was fun but tricky to keep the car on track. I was able to overtake Yifei and then we had a fight on track everyone will remember for quite some time. The championship title was a dream, but we managed to seal the P2 in the standings as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours invitation next year. We were quite there in case any problem happened to Prema, but it didn’t. They did an incredible job this year. We can be very proud of our season, and I look forward to the future."
Image: MPS Agency European Le Mans Series