Ant D's Marvels of Monza
Who were the standout performers at Monza? Let Ant D tell you.....
It was a breathless and eventful six hours of racing at Monza last week where heroes and a few villains were made.
WEC co-commentator and sportscar expert Anthony Davidson casts his critical eye over those that shone and the standout performances at The Temple of Speed.
Hypercar- Romain Dumas, Glickenhaus Racing
“Dumas was impressive all weekend. I think his performance in qualifying and being nine tenths faster than the rest of the field was exceptional.
“Then in the race he didn't he didn't put a foot wrong. He was really fast and made no mistakes. He held on to the lead at the start, which is what he needed to do, and I can't really fault his performance in any way.
“It was just so unfortunate that the car didn't make it to the end, and even with the penalty that they had, I still believe they would have won that race. I still think they would have recovered those 25 seconds of the drive-through penalty.
“The Glickenhaus doesn't look like the world's easiest car to drive a lot of the time. So, I think that's where he can pull on all of his experience of different cars he's driven and wrestle it around.
“I find it hard to choose anyone else that would be more deserving of driver of the race in that in that category, even though all three Alpine guys were great as well. I just thought that Dumas was the benchmark at Monza.”
LMGTE Pro – Nick Tandy, Corvette Racing
“It’s got be Nick Tandy. That was an absolute masterclass at the end of the race on how to save fuel. That's what ultimately what won the race and he did it in the most clever and incredible way.
“There’s always some ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ under safety cars, and full course yellows. But after it all played out they were all on a very similar level of fuel, at least the front two were on very similar levels of fuel when they had their final stop.
“You had to make a decision quickly, whether at the start of that stint to go for it, use all your fuel and make a splash at the end or methodically save fuel throughout your entire stint to just possibly making to the end of the race with the fuel that you had on board. Hopefully that would eradicate the gain of the other car pushing and making a splash.
“It was an absolute masterclass in how to save fuel, and I think the Corvette team combined with Tandy's gentle right foot when it came to fuel preservation was so, so impressive.
“I actually couldn't believe my eyes or ears when he told me at the end of the race that he was on the same fuel load as the No.52 Ferrari.
“I asked him how he had done it. he said simply: "I just saved fuel. They gave me numbers and I stuck to them religiously, and still tried to maintain as little time loss as possible to number 52.”
“Honestly it was highly impressive and to keep the speed that he had, as well as the fuel saving, was the thing that made it so mighty.
“He stole that race from under the nose of Ferrari. It shouldn't have been possible. Ferrari were finishing first and second as they had the speed and they dominated qualifying, it was theirs to lose and Tandy, Milner and Corvette just stole it from them in the most amazing fashion.”
LMP2 – Will Stevens, No.38 JOTA
“This one is definitely Will Stevens because he drove for such a long time. He looked absolutely shattered the poor thing when he got out of the car at the end of the race.
“He had put in a hell of a lot of work that day, in such hot conditions, and he absorbed it all, he kept his cool he was super-fast and super-consistent. Without question for me, he was driver of the day in LMP2.
“To come back from such a lowly position after that penalty in qualifying as well and finish second and just always be there in a tight fight was amazing. To work your way up through such a competitive field, and to finish second, to hold on to a triple stinted set of tyres at the end of the race is just wow!
“When you're at your most fatigued as a driver mistakes can happen very easily but he kept his cool and kept his tyres.
“It was a late call to triple stint them as well, so he had been pushing them very hard in the first stint and it was only I think halfway through the second stint that they decided to triple them.
“I mean they nearly won the race! I think without that last mishap in the pits where they overfilled the car slightly, they had a genuine chance to hang on to the lead and I do think that if he didn't have had to make a splash at the end, I think No.38 would have been able to hang on.
“For me that was a really, really good drive from Will, I would say one of his best, if not his best in LMP2. I think teams coming into the Hypercar category in the future would be crazy to overlook him, although JOTA will of course want to keep hold of him I’m sure.”
LMGTE Pro – Harry Tincknell, Dempsey Proton and Sarah Bovy, Iron Dames
“This is really hard because Harry Tincknell was so good in the race and really won the thing for Dempsey Proton. But also, the Iron Dames team were super good, especially Sarah Bovy. She wasn't the only one as well in that team because I think all three genuinely put in a really cracking performance and definitely deserved to at least have a chance to fight for the victory.
“I think it was so harsh to see that chance taken away from them and from us, as well as fans watching on. It was a bit frustrating to see that gap open up to 29 seconds after the final safety car. I just felt like they had a genuine shot of victory.
“I still think that Tincknell got the most that he could out of that car. He was absolute perfection really was Harry.
“It’s always easy to look at the pro drivers in the category and go 'yeah they were the best’ and that’s what they are paid for, so what!
“But you have to also acknowledge the job that the pros can do in that category, and I think, Harry was head and shoulders above everyone really that day.
“I think he was the benchmark actually that day but Bovy is definitely a very, very close call too after that superb lap in qualifying. That was really a real great achievement to be the first female ever to line up to claim pole position during an FIA event, world championship event, so I’ll split it this time and give it both of them!”