JRM Racing heads to the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain this weekend. The Six Hours of Bahrain will be the WEC’s first foray into the Middle East and takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 29 September. The British team, based in Rye, East Sussex, sets off to the Kingdom of Bahrain eager to capitalize on the competitive performance demonstrated at the last event in Sao Paulo.
James Rumsey, team principal of JRM Racing, reflects on the team’s competitive showing and anticipates the challenge this weekend, ‘We can’t wait to hit the track in Bahrain. We’ve made some solid progress since Le Mans and the signs were even more encouraging in Brazil. We were fast out of the box and consistently the quickest privateer entrant over the practices. We were looking very good to consolidate this in the race but a technical issue meant we lost several laps. Knowing we are quick, and we had a strategy that looked positive, gives us a lot of confidence this weekend. As always, the competition is tough and our rivals will have the same aims as us, but we have a number of advantages we hope will stand us out this weekend.’
Team manager and chief engineer, Nigel Stepney, expands, ‘We feel quite prepared for Bahrain. The set-up in Sao Paulo was pretty good from the start of the weekend and we have dialled the speed into the car very effectively now. We have also worked very hard on understanding the fuel consumption and tyre wear of the HPD. The hot weather test we did in Aragon, Spain, in August should help a lot in this respect as the temperatures we will experience in Bahrain will be very similar. We have also run an additional day in the simulator to get a head start during practice. There are of course some variables when we get to the track, such as the sand and dirt from the desert, but this extra preparation will allow us to factor in these unknowns and build up a bank of information to put into practice in the race on Saturday.’
Karun Chandhok hopes his experience of the Bahrain International Circuit will aid the team as it seeks to regain ground in the privateers’ championship, in which it currently sits third, six points behind Strakka Racing. ‘I've raced in Bahrain many times in the past in GP2 and F1 and have always been pretty competitive, having started on the front row twice in GP2.
‘It will certainly be interesting to go back with the LMP1 car particularly in traffic in the races with the dust off-line. The circuit is totally different to all the others we've been to thus far in the WEC. There's a lot of emphasis on braking with five big braking zones from high speeds. The long straights mean that you have to consider reducing some downforce, but on the flip side, the high temperatures mean any additional downforce will help with tyre wear.’
Like Karun, David Brabham has visited Bahrain before. ‘Last time I raced there I won the GT race, so I am hoping this continues. We are all looking forward to racing in Bahrain. We are starting to hone in on a good set-up with the car, which from Brazil's pace, means another close and exciting race. JRM are working very hard to make sure we finish the year strongly.’
Peter Dumbreck is the only of the three drivers to make his first visit to Bahrain, but is looking forward to the challenge of the 5.4km circuit close to the capital, Manama. ‘It's my first time at the Bahrain International Circuit so I'm looking forward to getting to know a new track. We need to keep pushing the car forward but I think we can be fast, and with a bit of luck, score the result JRM are capable of. Ultimately the result in Brazil did not reflect the performance step that we took leading the Six Hours of Interlagos, so that has got to be our goal this weekend – put everything we have learnt into practice and see it through to the end.’
Source: JRM Racing