Estre and Christensen hail 'unlikely win' to perfect strategy call
LM GTE Pro had more contenders for the outright win at the Fuji 6 Hour than any other race this season, but the Team Manthey Racing GT Porsche were the last team standing in what looked to be an unlikely victory at the start of the race.
After qualifying tenth in LM GTE Pro, the weekend looked bleak for the factory Porsche outfit, but a raft of issued for their opposition saw the race slowly begin to fall their way.
Aston Martin Racing looked strong, but both AMR entries began to lose pace as the track began to dry.
Kevin Estre seized the opportunity to put the number 91 GT Porsche into the lead with a handy advantage over the number 82 BMW of Tom Blomqvist.
“We has quite a bad quali and the first stint didn’t feel good”, said Estre.
“We were on different tyres to the others, so it was a proper rollercoaster. I think we had a lot of bad luck last year, so maybe we had so much last year that maybe this year it’s not hitting us!”
“We didn’t want to risk too much given we had a strong position in the championship”, added team mate Michael Christensen.
“On the other hand we had to do something after we were lacking pace in the first stint. But we got a free pit stop under the safety car and made the right call”.
Christensen had an epic battle with Sam Bird until disaster struck the number 71 Ferrari first with a puncture whilst Davide Rigon was at the wheel and then were relegated to the back of the class when the Ferrari encountered suspension damage after contact with the number 31 DragonSpeed LMP2 of Pastor Maldonado.
“I had good fun with Sam (Bird)”, added Estre.
“He was quicker than me, but I managed to keep him behind me for some time, but I had some traffic and he got by me”.
Image: Porsche Motorsort
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