Eurointernational is perhaps the most unlucky team on the whole of the European Le Mans Series grid.
They have run into circumstances beyond their control for the second weekend in a row.
We have already explained the issues in France, and the team has actually not yet got the cars released from France.
So the team found two other cars prior to this weekend for the ELMS and Michelin Le Mans Cup. The car at Paul Ricard was Ligier JS P3 with chassis plate 001 – i.e. the very first build of the kind. The car they have borrowed for the Monza race is quite a bit newer.
The Friday practice ran very well, with Mikkel Jensen posting the 5th fastest lap of all in LMP3, while teammate Jens Petersen did third fastest time in the Bronze test later in the day.
Saturday morning was time for the second free practice, but it ended abruptly with Jens Petersen in the concrete wall. A LMP2 car in front of him braked a lot earlier than usual, going towards Variante Ascari, giving Petersen two options – either crash straight into the rear of the LMP2 car, or try to avoid it to the right. He opted to go for the avoidance attempt, but the concrete wall was unfortunately so close, that the whole right side of the car was damaged – front suspension, rear suspension, the front and a lot of other bodywork.
That was the reason why the team had to skip Qualifying, since the mechanics had a massive rebuilding to do.
So the team will start in P40 out of 41 starting cars – so that’s really uphill for them.
The time table in the ELMS doesn’t have a warm-up session prior to the race, so Mikkel Jensen will be thrown straight into the fire, as the startig driver. He will only have the chance to drive out of the pits, and to the starting grid, ahead of the 4 hours of racing. So all he can do, is to trust the good mechanics from the team, has found and fixed all the issues with the car.
But no doubt that the mechanics are extremely professional at Eurointernational #11. They got a totally different chassis, that they had never worked with – although it was still a Ligier JS P3, but a physically different chassis – and then Mikkel Jensen went out and did 4th fastest lap of everybody, in their first session with the car…
So fingers crossed that there will be no more unforeseen issues for the team, and that they will get a good result at their home track, so they can defend the current second place in the LMP3 Championship.
The 4 Hours of Monza starts Sunday midday at 12.00 CET.