SUNENRGY1 RACING TEAM MORAL RUNS VERY HIGH AS THEY PREPARE TO EMBARK ON A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE GTD BATTLE
Endurance racing is a team sport and more importantly, it is the synergy between the drivers as they prepare for a gruelling race. Friendships are built throughout the preparation for this big race not only at the track but away from the track as well.
The atmosphere at SunEnergy1 Racing seems to be very friendly and positive at the moment. “It’s going very well. I’ve known my teammates before the Rolex 24 already. We spent quite a bit of time together this week and with Kenny as well. We are hopeful to have a good race as the car is very quick,” mentioned Mikaël.
SunEnergy1 Racing’s team owner found an unusual way of coming up with a team building activity as Mikaël Grenier explains: “Kenny (Habul, team owner, NDLR) suggested we dye our hair blue, since the blue colour is seen prominently on the car. So, we actually went to a local hair salon and they proceeded to dye our hair. We’re hoping it will bring us some luck.” Mikaël laughing as he explains it.
Needless to say they are ready to start the Rolex 24 this afternoon.
They had elected to not take part in the last practice session yesterday morning.
“We did not want to run yesterday morning simply to concentrate more on our preparation on other aspects of the race. We are very happy with the performance of the car as the Mercedes AMG GT3 is very reliable and even though we have not seen the true potential from some of our competitors, yet.”
When it comes to race strategy, there is always a plan at the beginning of the race that may change during the course of the 24 hours.
“Last week, the qualifying race went well and if it wasn’t for Kenny receiving a penalty (many cars passed the safety car under yellow at the wrong time and were penalized over 3 minutes for this, NDLR), we could have started in the top three.”
“The key for the race will be to keep the car together and we are looking at Kenny to meet his required driving time (4.5 hours, NDLR) early on in the race. We are also wanting to stay on the lead lap as much as we can when he is at the wheel or make adjustment whenever we can so to stay on the lead lap. The goal is to be in contention in the last six hours of the race.”
As for when Mikaël will take the wheel of the Mercedes AMG GT3, he is concentrating on his first stint for the moment. “I am scheduled to take over from Kenny when his is done with his stint. We are not certain at this time if he is to drive a double stint at the start of the race (a stint consist of around 50 minutes of fuel capacity, NDLR) or not. It all depends on how things evolve on track with having 49 cars running. But that’s the plan. After that, I will definitely drive during the night.”
We asked Mikaël about how it is to drive at night at Daytona.
“It is fairly easy, honestly. Daytona is like a stadium at night with all the lights compared to other circuits were it is much darker. The bus stop is probably the only section, especially under braking, where it is much darker. But overall, it is quite easy to adapt.”
The GTD field will have 19 cars battling for the Rolex 24 win and looking at the times so far, it is going to be extremely competitive.
“I would say that both Ferrari have great performance (there has not been any Balance of Performance adjustment after the Roar, NDLR) overall followed by the Lamborghinis even tough they have a smaller restrictor reducing their engine performance somewhat. And obviously the Porsche and Lexus will be tough competitors. Other than Ferrari, I don’t think there are others with big advantages.”
Canadian Racers News will keep an eye on SunEnergy1 Racing’s performance throughout the race and we will update you on their and other Canadians progress as the race evolves.
Image courtesy IMSA
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