Amid the heartbreak of missing the podium at Spa, it’s easy to forget that the points accumulated by the No. 8 Bentley Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Wolfgang Reip for leading at the race at the 12-hour stage had thrust them firmly into contention for the Blancpain Endurance Cup title. With the very real possibility of shaking off Bentley’s bridesmaid tag, there’s a lot weighing on Soucek’s mind on the eve of the championship showdown, not least his top lip… Here, the Spaniard tunes in for a first Racing.GT blog.
Spa was a rollercoaster for us! We were really strong, we were leading the race for most of the time and we scored the points for leading the race at 12 hours. The BMW was struggling at the end of the race to keep up with our pace, so we were clearly a contender for the victory, which proves that at least we have improved a lot and we had the right package.
From the last part of the race, of course if you look back you would change the fact that we pitted in that moment, but to be honest the right call was to come in because it was starting to pour down and I was on the part of the track where everyone went off. The problem was the people behind us in that moment were way behind us and when they pitted, there was a full course yellow because three or four cars crashed at the Bus Stop Chicane. That meant they could reduce the laptime against us and actually overtake.
It was very bad luck more than anything else, there’s no-one to blame. It just didn’t come the way we expected. For sure we all think that we should have got a better result and clearly a fourth place was the worse of the positions we could have opted for, because you are so close, but on the other hand you are not even rewarded to be up there and celebrating with your team. It was extremely frustrating, but for us Spa is in the past now and we move on.
We did our meetings and we had our talks about what we could have done differently, but we know more opportunities will arrive in the future. It won’t affect us for Nürburgring and the fact that we are only nine points behind the McLaren gives only more motivation that we can make it to the lead of the championship and win it – that would pay off the bad result from Spa!
The last two years the No. 7 car was second in the championship, they had the opportunity to win it and they came very close, hopefully we end up in a different way and we can win it. We all know the competition is difficult with the Audis, the Mercs, the McLaren and the BMW as well, each of the manufacturers has two or three very competitive cars and six or nine very good drivers, but last year we were running second until we sacrificed our pitstop to help the 7 car win the championship, otherwise we probably would have finished second or third.
We come in very positive this year, we finished sixth last year even though we didn’t get the best strategy possible, so I think if we’ve done our homework and we make no mistakes and so on, we can really do a good job.
A lot of people have been asking me lately about my moustache. It’s a bit of a long story but basically it’s for charity – it normally happens more in November but in my case it’s different. The guy who owns the cycling club in Barcelona I used to go to has a very long moustache and the other day I went for dinner with him, where and he explained to me that he has it to remember his friend, who used to have one before he died of cancer. He then decided to raise funds for charity, so he organised a cycling ride around Barcelona where the only request is that you have a moustache, so I decided to grow one.
The problem is, I found out recently that the cycling race was on the same weekend as Nürburgring, this weekend, but I said to him I would leave the moustache to remember his friend in my race and if I win the championship it will be in all the pictures, so hopefully we do. Aero-wise, it’s definitely better!