The fourth round of Season Zero of the new e-sports series E1 Championship promises a great deal for the GT Radial team as well as the young Filipino driver pairing of Inigo Anton and Joaquin Garrido. The former has shown his pace in each round this year and understands he needs to convert his natural pace into podium position, while the latter is closing the gap on his rapid teammate.
Despite some last lap disappointment last time out, GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport were able to secure a solid hail of 32 points to place themselves fourth overall in the teams’ championship heading this week to Imola, Italy.
The Imola round takes place at 22.00 local time, 14.00 GMT on Thursday with the race streamed live on Facebook.
Q&A with Tan Lip Han, Eurasia Motorsport’s Data Engineer
We saw a great upturn in pace from both drivers last time out in Dubai on a more traditional circuit layout, is this something that can be carried over to Imola?
“Definitely. During our preparation for Dubai, both drivers have shown great adaptability to different circuits, as we all can see Shanghai is very different compared to Dubai. But both drivers are improving vastly not just in their driving, but also in setup work and general work ethics. These positive traits are making them better and better driver by the day and is key for them to be performing to the top level no matter what track it is.”
Inigo was unlucky with his late race puncture in the last race. Was this down to tyre wear or was it the brief contact in the closing stages?
“We believe it was due to some brief contact in closing stages. We calculated our tyre wear to be able to survive until the end, although pressure to keep up to Mikko and fending off an oncoming Naquib accelerated our tyre wear a little bit, it was at nowhere near the limit of the tyres when it punctured. Sadly, there was nothing we can do when the puncture happens, but that is racing.”
Passing at Imola is very difficult. Will the GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport focus more on qualifying pace in order to extract the maximum from fresh tyres, or will the team aim for a car compromise with reduction in wing for the straights?
“We always aim for our best in any qualifying, there is no strategy or mind games here, qualify to the best of our ability to start at the highest position possible. Whereas for the race itself, we are still trying different setup changes, wing angle is one of them that’s for sure, but we will only go for the setup that’s the most optimum for us, not limited to simply low/high downforce configuration.”
Track position will be critical in the feature race especially. Tyre preservation will be very important, but equally, if you have a strong Sprint race, the reverse grid will force an aggressive strategy?
“The strategy ultimately falls on the tyre and fuel multiplier that would be announced on the day. We dedicated a part of our preparation to prepare for all the possible multiplier combinations, therefore whichever combinations we get that day, we always have the best plan accordingly ready to be carried out.”