Patrick Lindsey says Team Project 1’s first victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship last weekend puts the German squad in a “promising position” going forward.
Lindsey, Joerg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti arose from a closely-matched GTE-Am field to win the Six Hours of Fuji by half a minute from the TF Sport-entered Aston Martin Vantage.
Their class victory bumped them up to second in the class standings, 14 points behind the leading No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche crew.
Lindsey explained in the post-race press conference that Project 1 needed to bounce back from early-race problems before establishing itself in the lead battle.
“It’s just an honor to be here when I see these guys winning in a Porsche,” he said.
“To be here at Fuji and feel the atmosphere and see the fans is incredible. I’ve soaked it all up and it has been really enjoyable.
“Actually the week didn’t start off so well with a few technical issues. We had a number board that started peeling off and we had to take care of that.
“[It was] a great day for the team. Of course, there is still some room for improvement, but we are already in a promising position for the upcoming races.”
Lindsey took the lead from the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche in hour five before handing over to Porsche factory driver Bergmeister, who brought the Project 1 car home for its breakthrough win.
After a stunted start to the race that involved a first-hour safety car period and semi-wet conditions, the Porsche – which started fourth – became a more competitive proposition when the track dried out.
“I think we were the only Am car that didn’t pit under [the] safety car so we were kind of sitting at the back of the field wondering how we were going to get through,” said Lindsey.
“But we put our heads down and focused on running our race and before we knew it we looked up and were up there. There is no one better than Joerg to take it to the finish.”
Bergmeister, who along with Lindsey and Perfetti picked up his first-ever WEC winners’ trophy, said the result will spur Project 1 to take further wins in the 2018-19 season.
“At first the race ran like the entire weekend: not so satisfactorily,” he said.
“We had contact, a spin and had to change the door. But midway through the race, the tide turned in our favor and we brought home a pleasing victory.
“It’s the first WEC win for me and also for Project 1. That’s a great step for us in terms of collecting points. We’re all happy with this and it’s going in the right direction.
“We are finally a serious contender for victory so I’m feeling really confident for the upcoming races.”