Season Finale Awaits Walker In Portugal
The 2011 Le Mans Series reaches its climax this weekend at Estoril in Portugal. James Walker and his JMW Motorsport team-mate Rob Bell, head to the Portuguese circuit with their sights set on nothing less than the race victory.
“It’s so important to finish the season on a high,” said James. “We’ve both said from the beginning of the year that we were looking forward to Estoril. It’s going to be a great weekend if we can end the season with a win. The team deserve it after all the hard work they've put in throughout the year.”
Estoril was the home of the Portuguese Grand Prix until 1996 and was a popular winter testing venue for the Formula One teams. James has raced there twice before, in 2007 and 2008, while competing in the World Series by Renault and he is a big fan of the track.
“I know the circuit very well from my previous races there,” he explained. “I was quick there then so I'm looking forward to seeing if I can be quick there in a GT car. There are some very challenging corners. Turn two is a quick right-hander that really sorts the men out from the boys. The most famous corner is the very tight uphill chicane. This normally creates chances for overtaking so it should be interesting during the race. Finally the last corner, which is a long sweeping right-hander that leads onto the main straight. This will be a key corner for a quick lap time.”
“I think the track will suit the Ferrari,” he continued. “Especially through the high speed corners as that is where the 458 is so strong. Our Dunlop tyres will also give us an advantage if the track temperatures are high.”
Second place in the championship is still there for the taking but James knows that the only way to get a good championship result is to focus on getting the best possible result in the race.
“The best way is to just drive our own race and go out to try and take victory,” he said. “I've always found that if you take too much notice of what your competitors are doing, you get distracted. You need to stay focused on your own job. We are good enough to win.”
The six-hour race takes place this Sunday from 1300hrs until 1900hrs BST. Follow the action live with radiolemans.com and via lemans-series.com