The FIA World Endurance Championship season will be back on track again next weekend, when the 6 Hours of Mexico will be driven in Mexico City on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit, which is also used for Formula 1 races, and Champcar races in the past.
This season hasn’t always gone to plan for Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre in the Porsche #92 in the GTE-Pro category, but with a podium finish last time out at Nürburgring, things are going in the right direction.
Michael explains: “We have been not having the best race season so far. We have had some DNF’s that we definitely did not like and were not proud of. But at the end of the day it’s racing and it’s fragile, when you are pushing the cars, from the drivers’ side and the engineering side, to the limit. But of course it’s been very frustrating that we have a car that is working well, but we are nowhere near the Championship, from our side. But it’s great for the team and for the programme, that we can show the potential of the car, and we can be, for once, in the spot light.”
We have seen a lot of pace from their new for this season Porsche 911 RSR, but part of the missing results was down to the tires.
“We struggled at bit at the beginning of the season, to be able to make the tires last. We have worked a lot on the car though, and I think that we have been improving that. Just understanding the car, and making it more efficient on the tires, on one lap and over the long run.”
“We have two different compounds to choose from (for each weekend, editor). We have to tell Michelin for the selection that we want, because they need to produce the tires. And they just bring what you have said they should bring. So you could be in the shit at the end of the day, but it’s just like that. We have three different specs of the tires to choose from, but we can only choose two for each weekend. It’s all up to the engineers to choose, because they know the specification of the tires, so usually they do the job of choosing how many of that spec and how many of that spec, before the race weekend. We have a number of tires that we have to split between each compound – it depends on what they think.”
There has been a big gap between Nürburgring and Mexico, and with basically only race per month until the end of the season, with COTA being the exception, only two weeks after Mexico, there is plenty of time to do other things. So how many more races will Michael Christensen do this year?
“It’s always a bit of a surprise. As a Porsche works driver you can be used to do anything, basically. But usually we try to do only the WEC and Porsche try to isolate me a little bit for that, to focus on that, because it’s a very important programme for Porsche. So to stay focused on that is the main priority. But I’ve also done a few races in the US, with Alegra Motorsport, which was a big success in the first race, winning Daytona. They try to keep me for the long endurance races, and I hope to do Petit Le Mans with them as well. So usually that will be six races left, but you can never be sure. Maybe there will be a VLN or another race in the US – could be. I like to do as many as possible.”
The #92 currently sits 14th only in the Drivers Championship, but Porsche teammates Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki are third in the Championship, and Porsche running fourth in the Manufacturers Championship, there is still plenty for the German outfit to race for.
The 6 Hours of Mexico will be run over the weekend of September 1st to 3rd.