The FIA World Endurance Championship returns to the United States of America. Spent Thursday testing with the rest of the WEC teams.
The fifth round of the 2013 FIA WEC will be held at the Circuit Of The Americas near Austin, Texas. Austin is the second venue of the FIA World Endurance Championship in the United States after Sebring last year.
The Circuit Of The Americas, home of the Formula One US GP, provides a demanding layout with significant elevation changes. The track length is 5.516 km with 20 corners mixing high speed and slow corners.
The circuit looks to have the right ingredients for an exciting 6 Hour race and the Swiss team REBELLION Racing looks forward to putting in a strong race.
The previous FIA WEC round in Brazil ended with a significant podium finish for REBELLION Racing drivers Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche. Both the drivers and the team are aiming to repeat that result at the 6 Hours of the Circuit Of The Americas next Sunday.
With only two factory Audis and a single entry from Toyota Racing, it’s a reasonable objective.
Prior to the start of the race weekend a test day was scheduled on Thursday with two test sessions of two hours length each. This running time allowed the drivers and engineers to get acclimatised to the Circuit Of The Americas and start the set-up work for the race. The team recorded valuable data and all three drivers have each benefited from significant running time. The REBELLION Racing car #12 ended the day with the fourth fastest laptime.
Nick Heidfeld :
”The circuit is nice, especially the first part with the high speed corners. I only saw the track on tv before, where it looked cool and it is !
We had a productive test today. We have focused our work on aero and suspension and will have to work further to improve the car.
For the race it’s hard to set a real target, we will focus on our race, do our best, be safe when needed and see what will happen at the end.“
Nicolas Prost :
“I really enjoyed my first laps on this track, there are some interesting corners. It’s different from driving it in the F1 simulator, but it’s a great track. My only concern is the traffic. It is really hard to get a clear lap and you could lose a lot of time in the first sector. We have worked well with the setup today, we will start the weekend with a good balance.
My stint this afternoon was unfortunately spoiled when an anti-roll bar broke.
For the race we will keep the same strategy we had at Interlagos, drive safely and stay away from issues in the traffic. With some luck we could reach the podium again. “
Mathias Beche :
“I took a lot of pleasure from today. I really like the circuit, the first sector is great, it’s similar to Silverstone but a bit better. The last sector is too slow and less interesting. I was sent on track this afternoon with new tyres and had a great feeling.
We have a good basis to improve for the race. I think the car is better compared to Interlagos.
During the race we will try to be close enough to the works cars in order to take every opportunity that presents itself.“
Bart Hayden – REBELLION Racing Team manager :
“The whole team is looking forward to this event. The Circuit of The Americas promises to provide a fantastic racing experience for the drivers and the fans.
The test day went well, we are pleased with the work we achieved today and we were able to validate our simulation figures with today’s running.
For the race, our aim will be to reach the podium again. We want to keep the factory cars honest and, if we can run a strong race, we might gain a place or two if they slip up.”