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Tag: Luca Moro

LotusLotus successfully completed the 2012 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team showed a strong performance at its first year in endurance racing. A pleasant conclusion of the season was the start from Pole Position at the 6 Hours of Shanghai.

At the end of January, the team has announced its participation in the sports cars championship that includes the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a first roll out, Lotus was ready for its debut in endurance racing.

The inaugural season of the FIA World Endurance Championship started off with the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, where just one Lotus LMP2 car was in action. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro were at the wheel of #31. The three drivers showed a good performance in the opening event of the 2012 season and finished the race in sixth position in LMP2 class and tenth overall.

At the 6 Hours of Spa, Lotus was running two of its LMP2 cars for the very first time. Kevin Weeda and former Formula One test driver James Rossiter joined the team in Belgium. The quick and talented Briton Rossiter qualified car #32 outright in the front row of the LMP2 class, just four hundredths of a second behind the Pole sitter. Due to a start from the pit lane after an engine change, Rossiter and his team mates Kevin Weeda and Luca Moro made their way through the field and finished the race in eleventh position. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande in car #31 were able to achieve their best qualifying result of the season and started from fifth position. The race came to a sudden end for them after a crash one hour before the lapse of time.

The team continued its journey to the biggest race on the calendar, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which also marked the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Because of sporting regulations and limitations, just one Lotus LMP2 car was allowed to participate in the legendary endurance classic. So, Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro represented the black and gold Lotus colours at the Circuit des 24 Heures. The event was interfered by technical problems and led to a retirement early in the morning. Until that time, the car was running well in the race and all drivers showed a solid performance at their first participation at Le Mans.

The FIA World Endurance Championship went into a two-month break before the starting field was back in action for the fourth event of the year at the home of British motorsport. From the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Lotus was contesting with two of its LMP2 cars at every round of the FIA WEC. Former Formula One racer Vitantonio Liuzzi joined the team and was driving alongside Kevin Weeda and James Rossiter in car #32. The weekend of the Italian Liuzzi and his team mates went off anything but ideal having suffered engine failures in the practice sessions and the race. With Christijan Albers, a familiar face was back in a race car. The Dutchman replaced Luca Moro in #31, who could not be with the team because of private reasons. Albers enjoyed being back in a race car after a two years absence and together with his team mates Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis he finished the race in 12th position.

The second half of the FIA World Endurance Championship started off with the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo. The fifth round on the calendar was the first of four oversea races in a row and Lotus was in good condition in Brazil. After six hours, both Lotus LMP2 cars took the chequered flag. Car #32 was fighting for the podium, but after an unreasonable decision by the marshals, the crew lost valuable time in the garage and finished the race in sixth position. Car #31 was running trouble-free and was eight in LMP2 class.

Lotus was travelling with a positive feeling to the 6 Hours of Bahrain after the strong performance in the previous race. The round in the desert was special as the race started in daylight and finished at night. Unfortunately, Mirco Schultis was ill and could not take part in the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. So, just Thomas Holzer and Luca Moro were driving in car #31. The duo did well and Holzer had its best qualifying result until then. That it is very close in LMP2 category demonstrated the crew of car #32. James Rossiter qualified in sixth position, but just one tenth of a second behind the competitor in third position. In the race, Kevin Weeda, James Rossiter and Vitantonio Liuzzi were battling for a podium finish and proved once again that the Lotus LMP2 is competitive. The squad finished the race in fourth position just 30 seconds off from the second place.

The penultimate event of the inaugural season of the FIA World Endurance Championship took place at the foot of the Mount Fuji. The weekend started off with some problems for Lotus, but the team was able to change tack. Vitantonio Liuzzi qualified car #32 in third position, Thomas Holzer in car #31 repeated his best qualifying result with a start from eighth place. The 6 Hours of Fuji race started off well for both Lotus LMP2 cars. #32 was leading its class for a long time, but crossed the finish line in fifth position as a consequence of several collisions with competitors and an unplanned but requested change of the rear end. Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis in car #31 were on a solid run and had the pace to finish the race in sixth place. However, an alternator failure forced the German duo to retire. Nevertheless, the team was able to show another strong race performance before heading to the season final.

The 6 Hours of Shanghai marked the last event of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Lotus was coming highly motivated to China and wanted to end the season on a high note. LMP2 class winner Jan Charouz joined the team as Vitantonio Liuzzi was not able to race in Shanghai. It was a good weekend for the entire Lotus team with Thomas Holzer (#31) being second in the first practice and James Rossiter (#32) in front of his competitors in the second practice session. Both race drivers continued their trend upwards and achieved their best qualifying result of the season. Thomas Holzer qualified sixth in LMP2 class, whereas James Rossiter put his Lotus LMP2 car on Pole Position, which was a big success for the whole team. It was the first Pole Position in Lotus’ young history in endurance racing and a worthy reward for everybody’s hard work. In the race, Briton Rossiter was on a good pace and used his tyres not too hard, so he could keep up with the competitors. Unfortunately, the race for car #32 ended prematurely due to brake problems. Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis in car #31 had a strong race and achieved their best result of the year by finishing in sixth position.

It was a good and exciting first season for Lotus in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The squad improved continuously and was a serious competitor in the LMP2 category. The drivers and team members did an incredible job and worked very hard for good results. The Pole Position in Shanghai was the icing on the cake for a challenging but also successful first season in endurance racing.

Lotus is using the winter break to get ready for the new challenges in the FIA World Endurance Championship and is looking forward to competing with its own and brand new sports car, the Lotus T128.

After the great result in the desert of Bahrain, Lotus is looking ahead to the 6 Hours of Fuji.

In the events before, the team has proved that it is able to fight for the podium. Lotus wants to build on the success and is coming with high hopes to the land of the rising sun. Once again the target will be to finish the race on the podium.

Mirco Schultis will be back in car #31 after he missed the round in Bahrain due to illness. He will drive alongside Thomas Holzer and Luca Moro. The driver’s line up for car #32 remains unchanged with Kevin Weeda, James Rossiter and Vitantonio Liuzzi at the wheel.

The race at the foot on Mount Fuji starts on Sunday, 14th October 2012, at 11:00 hours local time.

Mirco Schultis, Race Driver #31:
“I am happy that I will be back in the car in Fuji. Unfortunately, I was not able to race in Bahrain because I was ill. But I am fully recovered and I am looking forward to being back in action in Japan. I hope that we can keep on progressing and that we can show another good performance.”

Kevin Weeda, Race Driver #32:
“I am looking forward to racing in Fuji. It has got a long straight, one of the longest in motorsport, but also parts that are very slow and twisty. It is located at the bottom of Mount Fuji and it is a nice setting for the seventh round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. After the great race in Bahrain, we hope that we can tie on this success and have another good weekend. After my teammates and I had stints leading the race in Bahrain, we are now motivated more than ever to finish on the podium soon.”

Lotus is looking forward to racing in the desert at the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

After the strong performance in Brazil, Lotus is coming to Bahrain with high hopes. The target for the adventure in the desert will be another two car finish, eventually a position on the podium is possible. It is going to be a special race as it starts in daylight and finishes at night.

The driver’s line up remains unchanged. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro will be at the wheel of Lotus LMP2 car #31. Kevin Weeda will drive alongside James Rossiter and Vitantonio Liuzzi in car #32.

The race starts on Saturday, 29th September 2012, at 16:00 hours local time.

Mirco Schultis, Race Driver #31:
“I am looking forward to racing in Bahrain and I was already racing at this circuit when it was opened in 2004. We had a good race at the round in Sao Paulo and I felt more comfortable in the car. We could set steady lap times and improve continuously. It will be special atmosphere in Bahrain when the sun sets during the race. I hope that we can have another good weekend and I am looking forward to driving in the desert.”

James Rossiter, Race Driver #32:
“We are coming to Bahrain with a positive feeling. In Brazil, we showed a strong race performance and could prove that we can fight for the podium. Racing in the desert will be special: the race starts in the afternoon and finishes at night. I am looking forward to it and I hope that we can show another good performance. We have the pace and our aim is to finish on the podium.”

#31 Thomas Holzer (GER) – Mirco Schultis (GER) – Luca Moro (ITA)
#32 Kevin Weeda (USA) – James Rossiter (GBR) – Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA)

Race
#32 Position 6 (LMP2)
#31 Position 8 (LMP2)

Lotus showed a strong performance at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo and finished the race with both cars.

Vitantonio Liuzzi (#32) was starting the race and was fighting for positions with other cars. The Italian driver climbed up to third position, when he handed over the Lotus LMP2 to his team mate. After six hours, Liuzzi crossed the finish line in sixth position. Car #31 kept out of trouble during the race and finished in eigth position in LMP2 category.

The result does not represent the real performance Lotus was showing today. Car #32 lost valuable time in the garage after an unreasonable decision by the marshals regarding the headlights.

Nevertheless, Lotus is building on this great performance and is looking forward to the next round in Bahrain.

Thomas Holzer, Race driver #31:
“I am happy with today’s outcome of the race. Our car was running without any problems during the whole weekend and we were improving continuously. I want to thank to the whole team for the great job they did and I hope that we can tie on this performance in the next races.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Race driver #32:
“I am happy with our race performance today. We could have had a podium finish, but a decision made by the marshals ended our dreams. However, we proved that we can fight for the podium and this is what is important for us. We are going to Bahrain with a positive feeling and I am sure that we can have another strong performance.”

#31 Thomas Holzer (GER) – Mirco Schultis (GER) – Luca Moro (ITA)
#32 Kevin Weeda (USA) – James Rossiter (GBR) – Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA)

Free Practice 3
#32 Position 4 (LMP2) Lap time 1:27.399 (Liuzzi)
#31 Position 10 (LMP2) Lap time 1:28.757 (Holzer)

Qualifying
#32 Position 5 (LMP2) Lap time 1:27.338 (Liuzzi)
#31 Position 10 (LMP2) Lap time 1:28.958 (Holzer)

Lotus showed a good performance in qualifying for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.

Vitantonio Liuzzi (#32) and Thomas Holzer (#31) qualified their Lotus LMP2 cars in fifth and tenth position respectively at today’s qualifying in Interlagos. The Italian was just three tenths off the pole position in LMP2 class, which is a good result for the team.

The track conditions have changed a lot compared to the practice in the morning and the track temperature was very high. Consequently, the balance of the car was different, so it was difficult to set a better lap time.

The race will start tomorrow at 12:00 o’clock local time.

Thomas Holzer, Race driver #31:
“We were concentrating on the race setup for the car, the qualifying result is not so important for us. The track has changed a lot compared to the morning session, so it was quite tricky to drive. It is going to be a long race tomorrow and a lot can happen.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Race driver #32:
“We didn’t bring out the best of the car today. We could not improve in the second part of the qualifying when the track was quicker because we used the tyres too much in the beginning. We could have done better, but we are just three tenths off of pole position in LMP2 category. It was my first qualifying and I will learn from this.”