Monza ELMS: Maini's weekend fraught with troubles
Arjun Maini finished several laps down in the second round of European Le Mans Series at Monza after being hit by a series of issues outside of his control.
There was optimism within the RLR MSport team when Maini set the second quickest time in FP2, just over a tenth down on the pace-setting Idec Sport car driven by Paul Loup Chatin.
Unfortunately, RLR struggled to get the setup right for its Gibson-powered Oreca 07 in time for qualifying and Maini could only set the sixth fastest time of the session - although he did gain a position on the grid when a rival driver was disqualified from the session.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Bruno Senna took the driving duties for the first stint and was moving up the pack until his car suffered a power steering issue. The Brazilian driver managed to reset the system and start going again, but the time lost dropped him and the team outside the top 10.
There was more disappointment when the team called in John Farano to pit during a safety car period, only to find out the pit exit had been closed. Farano had to wait several minutes before the lights turned green and the incident dropped the team down to 14th position.
Maini took over from Farano later and bolted in a string of quick laps, often matching the leaders. But with the remainder of the field so far up the road, there was little to no chance to make progress.
The final nail in the coffin for the team came on the penultimate lap when Farano got caught in a collision on the entry to Parabolica on the penultimate lap of the race.
Farano was unable to restart the car, which remained stranded on track until the chequered flag was drawn, marking a sour end to a race that had promised so much for Maini and his teammates.
“We got a little unlucky and a lot of things didn’t go our way, but Bruno (Senna) was right in the game until the power steering problem and we’ve shown that we all have really good pace,” Maini said.
“When everything falls into place, we’re going to be very competitive. In fact, we will be in good shape for the 24 Hours of Le Mans if we can fix the little glitches that held us back at Monza.”
Maini will next be seen in action at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, where he will become only the third Indian driver to take part in the legendary endurance race.
About this article
|Series||European Le Mans|