Debut winner van der Garde predicts tougher ELMS races

Ex-Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde expects "more competition" for G-Drive Racing in the upcoming ELMS races after helping the team to a win on his series debut at Silverstone.

Debut winner van der Garde predicts tougher ELMS races
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell race winners
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell race winners
Podium: race winners Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell, G-Drive Racing, second place, Stefano Coletti, Julian Leal, Andreas Wirth, SMP Racing, third place,Vincent Capillaire, Olivier Lombard, Jonathan Coleman, Lombard Racing
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan: Simon Dolan, Giedo van der Garde, Harry Tincknell

Harry Tincknell took the #38 G-Drive car to the lead early in the race - and while the #23 Panis-Barthez Competition entry jumped ahead due to a well-timed Full-Course Yellow, Simon Dolan had retaken the lead for the #38 before handing over to van der Garde.

The Dutchman, contesting his first sportscar race, then duly brought the car home, finishing 1m35s ahead of the second-placed #32 SMP Racing car.

However, even though van der Garde and his teammates put a lap on all but one car in the field, the Dutchman doesn't expect to stroll to the title.

"Our main competitor Thiriet by TDS Racing didn’t finish because of a mistake they made," van der Garde told Motorsport.com, referring to Pierre Thiriet's early-race crash at Luffield.

"[Thiriet by TDS is] our most important competitor this year and they will be better. They have a great line-up, too.

"We’ve done a top job, the team performed superior but we’d expect more competition in the next few races. But that’s not the end of the world.

"We’ve celebrated our first victory, hopefully we can get another few and even if we don’t have a top weekend, we need to make sure to finish in second or third."

"Some said I took a lot of risk"

Van der Garde said that, despite being an endurance racing newcomer, he adapted quickly to dealing with traffic.

"It was a bit tricky in the first five laps, even with a few drops of rain," he said.

"in order to attack, [I needed to know] how much risk I had to take, where you can overtake - but at some point you are in a flow and I drove lap after lap.

"As soon it was dry, I knew how to get through traffic and it became easy.

"Some said I took a lot of risk, but I thought it was OK as I could pass them quite easily. I think it’s an advantage if you have driven so high [in F1] and faster that you have a clear view."

Interview by Tim Biesbrouck

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