The first race of the Trofeo Pirelli at the Estoril circuit saw a triumph for Thomas Fleming and for Franz Engstler at the end of a hard-fought race. We gather the thoughts from the protagonists themselves who shared the podium together with the winners.
Thomas Fleming, winner Trofeo Pirelli: “It is a very good result for me and the team. We won the first race of the weekend here at Estoril. It was the first chance to do some real testing in a while and I think it paid off. In the last two races I was off the pace for various reasons, but it’s nice to be back on top again for the whole race. We managed the tyres better than my opponent, who was in the lead, and which gave me the advantage at the end. It was a fantastic result and I am very happy for the team, also because I gained on my main rival. I thank all my sponsors and my family.”
Szymon Ladniak, second place Trofeo Pirelli: “I am satisfied with the pace I managed to keep during the race: we worked hard all Friday, so I am very happy with the result we managed to achieve. I have to thank my team because they did a fantastic job. At one point I thought I could win, because I was really close to Thomas Fleming, but in the end, he proved to be the fastest so, it’s OK. Let's see what happens tomorrow.”
Max Mugelli, third place Trofeo Pirelli: “It was a difficult race where I had to manage the tyres as best I could. In the first three laps I struggled to try to catch up with the leaders because they had gained ground. After the restart I improved my position but, as the race was almost over, I settled for third place. At this point we start concentrating on tomorrow’s race.”
Franz Engstler, winner of the Trofeo Pirelli Am: “It is a very challenging weekend. Qualifying did not go so well, because, due to tyre management, I was only able to give my all on one lap. Despite the starting position, I am satisfied because qualifying allowed me to arrive prepared for the race. I had a good start, but twice the car overheated and I went into Safety Mode. Initially I thought there was a fault, but by resetting the settings several times, the engine came back up to speed and I kept as fast as I could on every lap. It’s incredible this first place, I’m very happy and I want to thank my team who did a great job.”
James Owen, second place Trofeo Pirelli Am: “Great result. It was a fantastic race with lots of duels and some collisions. I had a bad start but managed to make up several positions.”
Hanno Laskowski, third place Trofeo Pirelli Am: “It certainly wasn't my best race, I lost three positions after the Safety Car and then only managed to make up one. Of course, I am happy with the podium, but I am disappointed with how the last three laps went.”