We spoke with John Booth (JB) of Manor Motorsport and Richard Bradley (RB) about the move to WEC and the exciting LMP2 class –
SCG – How do you like the FiA World Endurance Championship Grid ?
JB – It is very exciting, and a great atmosphere I’m sure Richard (Bradley) is very calm but I’m actually quite excited and nervous, really looking forward to it.
SCG – Do you have a good strategy for this race ?
JB – Yes, but more importantly we have six good drivers which is very important in sportscars I believe.
SCG – Six hours instead of just an hour and a half of course?
JB – Well I watched some of the 4-hour race yesterday and was amazed at how quickly it went, so looking forward to it. Certainly was an action packed race.
SCG – Hopefully this race will be nice and smooth for Manor. Welcome to the WEC!
Turning to Richard Bradley (RB)
SCG – Different car, but cunningly the same Oreca 05. How does it feel this season?
RB – To be honest its a different looking car, but like putting on an old glove, and ironically it is actually the KCMG spare car, all our little tricks and mods from last year are on there. A new team, an English team, which makes Silverstone a little more special for us, and I’m really looking forward to it. Yesterday we went on the intermediates (in qualifying) which was a bit of a gamble, but we were the strong LMP2 car out their on inters, and looking at the line-up we have a chance of a podium.
SCG – Although we have got nice sun, there is still a chill in the air?
RB – Very much so, but I’m not going to tell you what compound slicks we are using! (chortle) It will be quite a challenge coming out of the pits and following the Safety Car (losing tyre temp), Roberto Merhi is taking the start, he is a very experienced guy, he’s done very well in the past, and we have every confidence in him.
SCG – So Roberto to start, who is next in ?
RB – It has not actually been decided next, it will be based upon the situation. Matthew Rao has adapted so well to it, he has done a fantastic job and I’m personally really impressed with him. He has come in and like a sponge asking questions, taking my experiences and applying them.
SCG – Who do you see as your main challengers?
RB – Well I know the Frenchman next to me is, Nico Lapierre (in the #36 Signatech-Alpine) having shared a car with him last year. He will be strong as will his team-mates. The G-Drive #46 is particularly strong, they always do a good job, the Gonzalez RGR-Sport by Morand #43 Ligier looks strong too, a fantastic addition to the championship, I like Ricardo a lot and think he has done a really good job, LMP2 this year everybody is competitive!
What I find quite interesting is there are a lot of new people, there is a lot to learn in endurance racing and who learns those aspects the quickest. Those with experience can gain an early season advantage.
SportsCarGlobal wish all at Manor all the best with their new venture, we look forward to follow you.