Round 2 of the Le Mans Virtual series will take place at Monza. Williams Esports are ready to race and hit the track.
After some unfortunate technical issues in Round 1 of the Le Mans Virtual Series at Bahrain, both the Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports and the Williams Esports entries are eager to get their seasons back on track this week at Monza on SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER.
The #53 Mercedes-AMG Williams was battling for the podium places in Bahrain, when a server disconnection dropped the car down the order. However, the line-up of Kuba Brzeziński, Niko Wisniewski and Michael Romanidis recovered well and finished P7 despite the issues, showing the excellent pace they have.
The #5 Williams Esports car of Jack Keithley, Petar Brljak and Sami-Matti Trogen, finished just outside the top 10 after a great recovery race from P19, with the team also suffering from technical issues. Martin Stefanko subs for Sami-Matti, who is unavailable for Monza due to a clash with his real-world racing commitments. Williams is confident going to Monza, having finished second in last year’s series, missing out on the overall title by 0.5 points, and having previously won the inaugural Le Mans Virtual 24hrs in 2020. With the pace shown by both cars in Round 1, as long as the team can avoid technical issues, both cars expect to be fighting for the podium.
The competition moves on to Monza, where the drivers have been working hard to ensure they have prepared thoroughly and are ready for the fierce competition in the prototype class. Qualification will be key with the race only being four hours.
KUBA BRZEZIŃSKI: “After not being as high up in qualifying as we would have liked in Bahrain, we managed to show great race pace and were going to be in the lead fight. Knowing that makes our
disconnection even tougher to swallow, but we still salvaged a top 10 finish which could be crucial come the end of the season.”
NIKODEM WISNIEWSKI: “It was good damage limitation last time out to end in P7. Monza is one of the worst tracks for a driver to make a difference, it has just two similar chicanes and then long
straights. But it’s very hard to be consistent since the high kerbs can unsettle the car without any warning. “In Bahrain, we were very well prepared and had a perfect strategy, so we are going to do the same here. We are going to put some more focus on quali this time to have a better starting position.”
MICHAEL ROMANIDIS: “Monza is quite a unique track, very fast and not many corners but it should provide plenty of overtaking opportunities in contrast to Bahrain. But at the same time there’s less strategy variation due to the reduced distance and tyre wear. “We’re focusing more into a fast quali setup, as it will be important here because the race is quite short at just four hours. At the same time, trying to find a race set-up which has a good balance across the whole race stints will be key.”
JACK KEITHLEY: “The pace was good and if we did not have the technical problems we had, we would have been competing for P6 in Bahrain, right near our team-mates. Monza is a fantastic track and trickier than many people think. There are so few corners, but if you mess one up, it really affects with your rhythm. Consistency and smoothness is the key. ”
PETAR BRLJAK: “We had very good race pace in Bahrain so we were quite happy with that, however technical issues had hit us hard and both cars lost more than a minute. What looked like a fight for P5 or P6 after the first two hours turned into trying to chase down the top 10 from nearly last place. I’m satisfied with our performance but also disappointed it didn’t bring at least a points finish at the end. “We need to put a little bit more focus on qualifying for Monza, and if all goes to plan, we should have a great race.”
MARTIN ŠTEFANKO: “Monza is a fantastic track with plenty of history, but for me it’s not as exciting to race on compared to some other tracks with its layout. Brakes are crucial due to the big stops from very high speeds, and also the chicanes where you can gain most of the time. The main thing we’ll be looking into is the set-up as that’s where I’ve felt we were lacking a bit in the first race.”