Phil Hanson was granted a spot on the podium at this past Sunday’s 6 Hours of Fuji after initially finishing fourth and is happy with the result despite suffering a number of issues during the race.
Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Oliver Jarvis started on the front row in LMP2 with their #22 United Autosports ORECA 07-Gibson, but the Anglo-American outfit suffered from electronical issues all throughout the race, which ultimately left them finishing fourth.
This was later changed to third when the #38 JOTA Sport ORECA of Anthony Davidson, Roberto Gonzalez and Antonio Felix da Costa was disqualified from second place following post-race scrutineering.
“A fourth place finish was a decent result but getting third is definitely a bonus,” Hanson commented. “Filipe struggled at the start as he couldn’t get the tyres up to temp which has been our main issue all weekend. That caused us to lose places and drop well behind the leader.
I took over and managed to have a similar pace to him and was slightly quicker than everyone else. I got up to second and was putting pressure on the leader but almost immediately had an electronics issue which then reoccurred later for Olly and Filipe.”
The issues in Fuji were not the first time that the WEC newcomers suffered from mechanical problems. During the season opener at Silverstone, the team’s race lasted only a handful of minutes when the car stopped running with Paul di Resta behind the wheel, causing a retirement.
The #22 ORECA was hit by issues again on Sunday, stopping or slowing on track on numerous occasions. The team managed to get the car running again each time, but could not escape delays.
“But because of our strong line-up, we were able to rescue fourth on the road and ultimately third which was the best that we could have hoped for having lost at least 90secs with these problems,” Hanson continued. We need to do our homework and find out what went wrong.
I got redemption from Silverstone in qualifying. I made two mistakes there, on both my tyre runs, but here I was within a tenth of Filipe’s fastest time on ‘mediums’ here in Japan which was very pleasing for me.”