The paddock is busy today, now the countdown to the race is in hours rather than days. It’s all systems go in the SMP Racing camp. The workplace atmosphere is busy, yet relaxed and friendly. Vandoorne confirms: I worked with some members of the team in GP2 in 2014 and 2015. Fortunately. It helps to have a good relationship already there. We did Spa together too, so now I feel at home among them.
Now with several Le Mans track sessions under his belt, Vandoorne feels less of a novice as he contemplates the race. “Sure, I’ve never done Le Mans before, but I’ve been in motorsport for years. I’ve driven several types of car, from Formula 4 at the Le Mans Auto Sport Academy to Formula E with HWA Racelab and I think I’ve got the right skills for this race. His steely calm is admirable and no doubt one of the keys to his success. The SMP Racing #11 BR1-AER qualified in fifth place, with a best lap of 3:16.665, clocked by Vandoorne himself.
Keep a close eye on the car when the “new boy” takes the wheel in the race itself, starting at 15:00 tomorrow.
PHOTO : LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, QUALIFYING, THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2019. Stoffel Vandoorne follows the action from the garage between stints.