DUQUEINE Team kicked off its ELMS season in Barcelona with drivers Neel Jani, René Binder and Nicolas Pino taking the LMP2 class win and with it the championship lead.
The weekend started off on a positive note with the #30 car showing promising pace during the two-day prologue. In qualifying, Neel Jani set a remarkable time, giving the team provisional pole before finally starting third on the grid, thanks to a well-executed team strategy.
The start of the race on Sunday saw René Binder take the wheel and avoid the pitfalls of the start, before getting stuck in traffic and dropping back to fifth. However, he quickly regained his position and finished his stint in second place, handing over the wheel to Nicolas Pino. The 18-year-old Chilean driver put in an impressive first drive, handing over the car in second place to Neel Jani who took over to finish the race. The battle raged on in the second half of Jani’s run, but damages to the floorboard, which the team had sustained earlier in the race, hindered the Swiss from being able to fend off his nearest competitor for the overall win.
DUQUEINE Team thus concluded its week-end with an LMP2 category win and a second place overall. Their promising result is very encouraging for the rest of the season, especially for their next outing at the 100th running of the 24h of Le Mans.
Neel Jani: “What a great start to the season with a class victory and second overall. We were clearly the underdogs but we showed already at the first race that Duqueine Team means business this year! It was not an easy race for us, as we suffered severe damage on the underfloor and overheating brakes from mid-race onwards, and it was not always clear if we can finish the race. I am super happy for the whole team who worked hard over winter. They really deserved this result and I am sure the taste of victory will create even more motivation to go against the big boys in FIA WEC at the 24h of Le Mans”