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Estre Frustrated by Penalty Calls on No. 92 Porsche

Kevin Estre feels late drive-through penalty at Monza was unjust after JOTA, Ferrari incidents…

Photo: Porsche

Kevin Estre expressed frustration at receiving a drive-through penalty in the closing stages of the 6 Hours of Monza for two counts of incident responsibility in his No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Estre and Michael Christensen’s GTE-Pro Porsche was running in third position, around 15 seconds behind Antonio Fuoco’s class-leading No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

With around 40 minutes to go, Estre came together with Jonathan Aberdein’s LMP2 contending JOTA Oreca 07 Gibson at the second Lesmo, which caused the prototype driver to surge off deep into the gravel.

It also brought Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 51 Ferrari right onto the No. 92 Porsche’s tail.

Estre and Pier Guidi then engaged in a heated battle for the final podium position. Notable moments included Pier Guidi getting out of shape as the pair leaned on each other into the first chicane, and both drivers running deep into the run-off area at Roggia.

Both of those incidents were used as evidence in Estre’s penalty. After finishing fourth, Estre said that he was disappointed by the penalty call and that he felt it was unjust.

“With the pace, we had no chance today,” he told Sportscar365. “The only possibility we had was to do a better job than the others on fuel saving and strategy, which we did.

“In the last stint we were saving fuel trying to finish without doing a splash and I had a fight with the Ferrari and we had some contact.

“I had some contact with an LMP2 which tried to overtake me on the outside of Lesmo 2, which was very optimistic from him. He went outside, he went in the gravel and I got a drive-through penalty with 10 minutes to go for contact with an LMP2 and contact with 51.

“For me, the contact with the 51, there was no need for a penalty for sure.

“51 passed me, we stayed on track, he gained an advantage when he passed me, we both cut the chicane but he gained more than I did and in the end, I get a drive-through for this and for contact with the LMP2.”

Estre questioned the stewards’ handling of the sanction, in relation to a penalty call for the No. 51 Ferrari earlier in the race that he felt was inconsistent with a call on his car at the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

Pier Guidi was judged to have left too a large a gap to the LMP2 field and was handed a drive-through, although he didn’t need to serve it because it was left suspended until the end of the season provided that no repeat offenses occur.

“It seems to be always the same that when we get investigated we get a penalty and when Ferrari get investigated, they don’t,” said Estre.

“Like at the start today, they left too much room to the LMP2s, got called to the stewards and got no penalty [sic].

“We left too much room to the LMP2s at the start in Sebring, got called and got a 15-second penalty.

“This seems this is the story of WEC, so I’m really not impressed by the level of the stewards’ decisions because we always get screwed and somehow the reds always get away with it.

“For me, this is not how I see racing and I think it could be very bad for the future when you add the brands and more competition.”

Estre, Pier Guidi Respond to Heated Battle

Neither Estre nor Pier Guidi appeared to be too unsettled by the dramatic and, at times, aggressive nature of their positional battle.

“For me, it was very hard, it was probably not 100 percent clean from both sides, but I think it was a good show and we both finished the race without any drama on the car,” said Estre.

“I think this is what the fans want to see and I take it as fair racing. That’s why for me there was no need for a penalty.

“In the end he passed me, we touched a few times but he passed me when he cut the chicane and I cut the chicane, he got an advantage out of it so I will not say that he got screwed with this.

“It just took him more time to pass me than he probably expected but that was my job to hold him back.”

Pier Guidi, meanwhile, felt that Estre was pushing him “a bit too much” but did not seem displeased when asked about the events.

“I was just being pushed everywhere,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s a kind of revenge… for me I didn’t expect something like this. But at the end, it’s hard racing. I think this was a bit too much, but that’s motorsport.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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