Optimum return to Le Mans Cup at Monza with high expectations
Having competed in the Michelin Le Mans Cup last year with a single outing at Paul Ricard, Optimum Motorsport are looking forward to re-joining the series this coming weekend (12-13 May, 2017) at Monza with Flick Haigh and Joe Osborne partnering up once again in the #75 Audi R8 LMS.
Hot off the heels of a fiery incident in the 24H Series at Paul Ricard on Sunday, traced to early contact with the left-hand side exhaust, the team head to Italy full of confidence based on a very successful test completed at Portimao.
“The testing programme proved to be very encouraging,” said Team Principal Shaun Goff. “We have a very competitive driver line-up, one of the strongest in the GT3 field this year and the Audi worked really well at Portimao. Monza is a power circuit though and this may be a slight disadvantage for us, but it’s a two-hour race and I think we’ll be in good shape so it should all be positive.
“We did the Paul Ricard round last year, just to dip our toe into the water to understand the levels required. We finished fourth and we got some good information on the Michelin tyre which we have been able to move the handling and performance on a good deal since then, especially from the recent tests. It seems to hold up much better now with the slightly new compound so we have very good vibes about Monza.”
For Osborne, the return to Optimum to race alongside Haigh, is a challenge he is very much looking forward to. "We'll be on the money," he said. "Our pre-season test was very good. Flick really got into the groove at the unique track quickly. I think the Audi should suit the circuit and will allow us to be competitive."
Following Friday practice, the team qualify Saturday morning with the main two-hour race getting underway at 16.45 local time.