Filipe Albuquerque: “We are in good shape for Imola”

by Daniel Lloyd

JOTA Sport driver Filipe Albuquerque is looking forward to making his European Le Mans Series return at this weekend’s 4 Hours of Imola.

The Portuguese driver missed JOTA Sport’s recent success at the Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship due to his Audi LMP1 commitments at the same race, but will make his LMP2 return this weekend. Driving the #38 Gibson 015S Nissan with Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell, Albuquerque is confident that he and his team-mates can continue the team’s impressive run of results.

“We are in good shape for Imola and we head there with the same goal again and that’s to win,” he said. “Gibson has done a fantastic job with the upgrades. The team is fantastic and it’s the same driver trio as last year.”

JOTA Sport heads into this weekend’s race as one of the favourites after a solid performance of the upgraded Gibson chassis at last month’s 4 Hours of Silverstone. Albuquerque, Dolan and Tincknell finished just 0.3 seconds behind the race-winning Greaves Gibson after a frenetic lead battle, although Albuquerque is hoping to go one better on Sunday.

“The opening Silverstone race showed that we are in good shape and we just marginally lost out on the victory. We always respect the competition and of course there is another Gibson, which beat us at Silverstone, while the Thiriet TDS Racing Morgan is strong.”

At last year’s 4 Hours of Imola, JOTA Sport claimed its first and only ELMS race win of the year after a late engine failure for the Morand Morgan enabled Dolan to sweep past for the overall victory. As one of the most iconic stops on the five-race calendar, all drivers, including Albuquerque, are looking forward to tackling the narrow and technically demanding 3.05 mile Imola circuit.

“The 2014 race at Imola was crazy but of course the outcome was good for us. We were a little bit lucky. Imola is a track with great history. I remember watching [Formula One] races back in the early 1990s and now love going there. It’s very technical and narrow so overtaking can be difficult in traffic.”

Qualifying for the 4 Hours of Imola gets underway this Saturday (May 16) at 10:30 local time. The race will begin with a rolling start on Sunday at 14:00.

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