SMP Racing driver Egor Orudzhev took part in the first round of the new FIA WEC season as part of the British Team LNT outfit.Competitions were held in the UK at the Silverstone circuit on August 30 - September 1.
The team debuted in the LMP1 class with the Ginetta G60-LT-P1 prototype. Egor was driving in the car No. 5 alongside English drivers Ben Hanley and Charlie Robertson. They were sixth-fastest in the qualifying round, but during the four-hour race they managed to move up to fourth position, ahead of their sister car and the Rebellion Racing car, and finished five laps behind the leader.
Egor Orudzhev said: “We finished in fourth place and this is a good result for the team. The main thing is that the car ran without a problem the entire distance of the race. There is a lot to work on in terms of setups and improvements to the car. For the guys, this was the first endurance race weekend in their lives, so from the point of view of organizing processes, there is much to improve. We didn’t have perfect pit stops, and we lost a lot of time during them. I think the gap at the finish doesn’t reflect our speed, in reality we are closer to Rebellion Racing, but driving off the track and the slow pit stops cost us precious minutes. I am sure that the gap will be much less in the next rounds. And considering the fact that this is the debut for the team in the LMP1 class, the potential seems to be great.
“As for my stint, everything went quietly and without any incidents, although on this sunny day I had to drive in the rain. We had a good pace, at some point on the track I was between two Rebellion cars, and I was able to compete with them on equal terms. I was pleased with my work in the race, considering the fact that I drove only seven laps during the three practice sessions and I feel like I got used to the car pretty fast.
“Last weekend was overshadowed by the death of Anthoine Hubert in the F2 race at Spa. I think this news shocked everyone. It seemed that in the junior formulae such a tragedy was almost impossible. We drove together in the Formula Renault Eurocup in the same team about 5 years ago, though after that we didn’t especially cross paths or communicate with each other. He was a talented guy who won the GP3 championship last year. Anthoine, like all drivers, was passionate about motorsport since childhood, worked hard and was chasing his dreams. It’s scary to think that in one moment, this person is not alive anymore, and that this can happen to any of us drivers in certain circumstances. Despite the fact that the level of safety is extremely high today, and we forget about the risk at such speeds, deep inside each of us understands that racing is a dangerous sport. No one is immune from accidents, and racing drivers regularly put themselves in much greater danger, but at the same time, racing is our job, our passion, and it is impossible to give it up, even if we are aware of the risk.
“My condolences to the family of Anthoine and his team Arden. Now it is a difficult time for them. I hope that Juan Manuel Correa will recover soon, it’s hard to imagine what psychological state he is in right now.”