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Monza Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race news and notes from the 6 Hours of Monza…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

***Brendon Hartley, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi maintained their FIA World Endurance Hypercar Championship points lead despite a disastrous race for their No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, however their cushion was reduced by Monza winners Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.

***The No. 8 drivers, who won at Spa and Portimao, are on 75 points against 69 for the No. 7 Toyota trio. The fact that the WEC prototype world championship points account for the top class only this season, therefore bypassing any LMP2 finishers, meant that Hartley, Nakajima and Buemi still came away with 12 points despite finishing 43 laps off the winner. View the Hypercar standings here.

***Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon said there was a “balance issue” on the No. 8 car in the opening stint, which explained why Mike Conway could draw out a significant lead on Sebastien Buemi. “Our drivers, especially these two, are at the same level,” he said. “So we don’t expect three or four-tenths difference. It was a balance issue on car No. 8.”

***The other issues experienced by the No. 8 Toyota throughout the race were connected to a main fuel pressure problem, Vasselon confirmed. Toyota changed the car’s fuel system at its longest pit stop, after which the car was back up and running.

***Kamui Kobayashi had a second issue to contend with shortly after the system reboot that cast the No. 7 Toyota’s race into doubt with two hours to go. A right-rear puncture manifested at Parabolica, but the impacts were minimal as Kobayashi was already on his way to the pits for a routine stop.

***Sunday’s race marked the fifth in WEC history to feature an LMP2 team on the outright podium, as United Autosports finished third. Past races to feature an LMP2 in the overall top-three were Bahrain 2020 (Jackie Chan DC Racing), Le Mans 2017 (Jackie Chan DC Racing), Bahrain 2013 (G-Drive Racing/ADR) and Sebring 2012 (Starworks Motorsport).

***Filipe Albuquerque’s remarkable winning form in LMP2 continued as the Portuguese driver netted his sixth class victory in seven races, dating back to Bahrain 2019. Phil Hanson took his sixth win out of eight WEC races, owing to Albuquerque missing Spa.

***Hanson now leads the LMP2 standings by 18 points from pre-Monza leaders Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez whose No. 38 JOTA Oreca retired due to an electrical problem.

***Francois Perrodo, Alessio Rovera and Nicklas Nielsen moved to within two points of Cetilar Racing’s Antonio Fuoco, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Roberto Lacorte at the top of the GTE-Am standings, following their victory from last on the grid. The No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo was sent to the back of the 15-car pack due to a post-qualifying technical infringement.

***Perrodo spoke after the race: “You should have seen our face at dinner when we were told the penalty after qualifying! In any case, the rules must be respected and today we started from the bottom. Being able to win is really fantastic.”

***The last double podium for Aston Martin GTE-Am came at the 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas in February 2020. D’station Racing, supported TF Sport, claimed its maiden top-three result in the world championship behind NorthWest AMR.

***GR Racing lost touch with the GTE-Am battle after a failure on its Porsche’s splitter. Ben Barker, Tom Gamble and Mike Wainwright ended up ninth after initially challenging for a top-five.

***Iron Lynx completed 16 laps with its No. 60 Ferrari, which had the front end rebuilt after a heavy accident during Free Practice 2. The car was classified as a retirement alongside the No. 708 Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH, which suffered a gearbox failure.

***One consolation for Glickenhaus’ No. 708 crew was that their car was the joint-fastest in a straight line at Monza. Both Pipo Derani in the Glickenhaus and Toyota’s Brendon Hartley clocked speed trap figures of 317.6 km/h (197.3 mph) during third practice.

***Risi Competizione’s LMP2 debut turned into a test session after early front wing damage affected the No. 82 Oreca 07 Gibson’s balance “quite badly”, according to team manager Gary Holland. Risi then performed a full pit stop under the safety car, rather than the emergency fuel top-up, which first cost it time compared to its splashing rivals and then wound into a 20-second penalty at the next stop. It ended up 10th in class.

***Paul-Loup Chatin, who raced in Job van Uitert’s overalls, became the first non-Dutch driver to represent Racing Team Nederland in four years, and helped the team to claim its second LMP2 Pro-Am victory of the season. The only other non-Dutchman to race for the team so far has been Rubens Barrichello at Le Mans in 2017. Despite Nederland’s triumph, its Bronze driver Frits van Eerd is three points behind Esteban Garcia and Norman Nato in the standings.

***LMP2 chassis constructor ORECA was fined €25,000 ($29,500) – with all but €5000 suspended – for not providing an adaptor part required to complete the rear wing deflector test. ORECA is bound by the regulations to provide the adaptor piece, which is centrally supplied by the constructor on grounds of reducing costs for its teams.

***ORECA has the right to appeal the fine, of which €20,000 is suspended provided the French company can supply the required adaptor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Attention now turns to Le Mans, which takes place in just over one month’s time on August 21-22. Before that, WEC teams will return to the track for the official Le Mans test day on Aug. 15. The longest round of the season will count for double points.

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

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