Kubica’s “essential” Fuji stint places WRT on cusp of WEC LMP2 title

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The #41 WRT ORECA-Gibson 07 shared by Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Rui Andrade dropped from second to sixth early on after Andrade was hit by the #23 United Autosports entry of Josh Pierson, an offence for which Pierson was slapped with a 10-second time penalty.

Whereas the incident put the #41 crew on the again foot, Kubica, Deletraz and Andrade clawed again the misplaced floor and returned to the entrance by the tip of the fourth hour, ultimately taking a cushty 16s class win over the #22 United crew of Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Freddie Lubin.

Kubica accomplished 50 % of the #41 WRT crew’s tally of 218 laps, first leaping aboard in the midst of the second hour after silver-rated Andrade had accomplished his minimal driving time.

Becoming a member of the observe in a web fourth, Kubica steadily propelled the group to the entrance of the pack, getting inside 10 seconds of the race-leading #22 United automobile.

Talking within the post-race press convention, Kubica mentioned that it was throughout this a part of the race that proved key to victory, because it put team-mate Deletraz able the place he might go Hanson for the lead.

“Earlier than managing to get the lead I believe the essential hours have been after Rui [drove], once I took over,” he defined.

“We managed to carry the automobile inside eight seconds of the lead from 52 behind, so it was a vital 90 minutes behind the wheel. 

“The degradation was excessive, we managed to deal with the tyres very nicely. We’ve got been within the quick first stint however particularly the second, then after all we have been again within the recreation.

“Louis did a very good job saving gasoline greater than United so we knew we’ve got a little bit of a bonus. Even after we have been behind them, we knew that we might make it work our method within the pitstop space, so there was no huge panic. It was loads of administration.”

#41 Workforce WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson: Rui Andrade, Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Kubica returned to the wheel for the ultimate 90 minutes, when the #23 United automobile cycled to the entrance by stopping early.

Nonetheless, Kubica had little bother passing Ben Hanley for the lead, reinstating WRT into the lead of the race.

“Within the final one-and-a-half hour I acquired the automobile in P1, then we acquired undercut by #23 nevertheless it was an enormous gamble as a result of they have been lacking two or three laps [of fuel],” the 38-year-old recalled.

“So I knew they needed to save gasoline quite a bit and we managed to overhaul them and managed to drag away a 20s hole and produce it house.”

Fuji marked WRT’s second win of the season after triumphing at Spa, and it places the group 33 factors clear on the high of the desk with solely 39 factors on supply inNovember’s Bahrain finale.

The squad’s closest challenger, the Inter Europol group that received at Le Mans with Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer and Jakub Smiechowski, completed down in ninth.

“After all this put us in an excellent place for the championship,” mentioned Kubica. “Inter Europol, which was near us, did not rating loads of factors. United #22 completed behind us.

“This brings us in fine condition, good factors lead earlier than Bahrain and we’ve got to execute one other clear weekend in Bahrain and produce it house hopefully.”

#22 United Autosports Oreca 07 - Gibson: Frederick Lubin, Philip Hanson, Fillipe Albuquerque

#22 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson: Frederick Lubin, Philip Hanson, Fillipe Albuquerque

Picture by: Andy Chan

Disappointment for United

United Autosports held a 1-2 for the primary half of the race, with the #23 ORECA crewed by Pierson, Hanley and Oliver Jarvis holding second behind the sister #22 entry even after serving their penalty.

However each the group’s automobiles lacked the tempo to stay within the battle for victory, with the #23 automobile slipping to fourth on the end, not helped by a spin attributable to Vanwall Hypercar driver Joao Paulo de Oliveira hitting Hanley within the fourth hour.

Talking afterwards, Jarvis was clear that the end result was beneath what the group had anticipated going into the penultimate spherical of the season.

“Disappointing race,” Jarvis instructed Autosport. “The tempo was robust all weekend, it appeared good within the first couple of stints, however then we struggled in comparison with the WRTs specifically. 

“We had a few incidents, we have been hit by the Vanwall and acquired rotated, and we had a 10s penalty for an incident at the beginning of the race [when Pierson hit Andrade]. This stuff simply constructed up.

“I believe we might have received it, I don’t suppose we have been the quickest automobile, however to return away fourth isn’t what we anticipated or what we have been hoping for.”



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