Valencia: Charouz Racing preview

LMS: Charouz Team in Valencia with Yoong This weekend in Valencia, Spain, the Skoda Charouz Racing System-Lola/Judd team will appear at full strength. The second Le Mans Series event will be raced by trio Jan Charouz, Stefan Mücke and Alex...

LMS: Charouz Team in Valencia with Yoong

This weekend in Valencia, Spain, the Skoda Charouz Racing System-Lola/Judd team will appear at full strength. The second Le Mans Series event will be raced by trio Jan Charouz, Stefan Mücke and Alex Yoong. The crew believe they will prove the car's power it showed in the first race in Monza, where the factory LolaB07/17 Judd vied for podium.

However, April chances were ruined by gearbox failure. This technical trouble is unlikely to reappear, though, as the Lola's engineers sorted out the construction problem. One of the greatest surprises of the opening LMS race was the power of the vehicle painted in Czech tricolor. Only factory Peugeots 908 were faster than Charouz and Mücke.

The second race will also measure 1000 kilometers, the time limit is six hours. While in Monza the Malaysian F1 ex-pilot Alex Yoong was missing, the team will be complete now. This race will also be a great chance to prepare for the peak of the season - the famous June marathon 24 Hours Le Mans. Only Mücke's start was unsure, but the Berliner figured it out extraordinarily.

During the day, he will make it to both FIA Grand Turismo in Silverstone and the Spanish six-hour race. Together with a few other drivers he will avail of the charter flight between the British and Spanish circuits. He will launch the Lamborghini Murcielago into the two-hour race, give the wheel to compatriot Frank Biela and take off for Valencia where he's supposed to drive the final part of the six hours.

Valencia will host wider competition than Monza did. An unheard-of number of 46 cars enrolled, 23 of which are sport prototypes. In the elite LMP1 class, in which the Czech Lola/Jud belongs, there will be two experienced and fast crews that skipped the Italian opening: Swiss team Swiss Spirit (Deletraz, Fässler, Alexander-David) and British team Arena (Johansson, Shimoda).

The Valencia race will be brought in a series of live and record programs by Czech TV channel Galaxie Sport (12.55-13.50, 15.55-16.50 a 19.10-20.05).

Jan Charouz: "I'm looking forward very much as I'm convinced we will be just as fast as in Monza. It is also important that all three of us will take turns. I know the track from formula 3000 tests and have to admit I'm not too fond of it. It's kind of small, narrow and winding. Overtaking slower cars might be a problem. But I hope we'll cope with it."

Stefan Mücke: "My flight will be a hasty thing, but I'm glad to have this opportunity. There will be six or seven pilots in the plane provided to us by Jean-Denis Deletraz of Switzerland. I'm in great shape, last weekend I and Antonin Charouz in Mercedes Benz C AMG DTM dominated the three-hour race in Brno and success is what I believe in this Sunday, too."

Alex Yoong: "I'm excited to be driving for the Skoda Charouz Racing System- Lola/Judd. Both the team and the car and engine producers Lola and Judd did a fantastic deal of work. I'm looking forward to this team connection and I believe we will have a fruitful weekend in Valencia, and whole season afterwards."

Antonín Charouz, team boss: "There are two very important things: we will have the complete driver line-up and Lola's engineers fixed the technical problem from Monza. We've shown speed and power and if we manage to add endurance, we can be looking for top five."

-credit: cr

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Series European Le Mans
Drivers Frank Biela , Alex Yoong , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Stefan Mücke , Jan Charouz , Antonin Charouz