“Outsiders were keen to see how we fared at our opening race and there were high expectations in-house, too, so we all felt a certain sense of relief when Monza got under way,” admits Thomas Desforges. “We have total respect for our rivals and we wanted to see how we compared on the race track. We were up there, even though everything didn’t go perfectly. We are in the process of building our race team and, above all, looking to progress for our first full FIA WEC campaign in 2023.”
Like Thomas, Marc Meneghin has already started to focus on the areas that Monza revealed as needing improving. This phase includes using the staff’s collective experience to make the team even more closely knit and acquire the reflexes that can only really be honed at races. “The result was promising ahead of our next outings, in Fuji and Bahrain,” he says. “In private testing, we would film our pit stop routines and determine who would be responsible for which task, drawing inspiration from the approach of our Hypercar to the job. Our intervention times improved during the race, when adrenaline plays a big role.
The 9X8 is a puzzle that comprises some 10,000 pieces, and it takes four weeks to assemble each one. “The 9X8 is more complex than the 908 due to its hybrid system, and there’s less space to work.”
If an issue necessitating work in the pits occurs, the chief mechanics have around a minute, a minute-and-a-half as the driver heads for the pits to decide how they will approach the job and draw up a list of the parts and tools they will need. “We are constantly in contact with the drivers and engineers over the team radio and via the telemetry,” explains Thomas Desforges. “If a problem arises, we are able to pinpoint its origin and work out how to resolve it before the car arrives.”