WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason are keeping their expectations in check when the TCR International Series heads to Monza this weekend, due to the high-speed nature of the Italian circuit.
The team have only taken one win so far in 2015, which came when Morbidelli triumphed in the second meeting in Shanghai. Despite that win taking place on a circuit with one of the longest straights on the calendar, Morbidelli has concerns about the car’s performance on a power-oriented circuit.
“My intention is always to push hard and do as much as I can to achieve results and it would be nice to have something to celebrate with my sponsors and friends who will be at Monza to give me extra support,” said Morbidelli. “We have only really bettered the SEAT and Audi cars once this season in Shanghai, therefore I have to be realistic about our chances this weekend.
“I’m a little worried about our performance on what is a fast circuit that places the emphasis on power. I know the circuit very well, having raced there many times before, and you need a car that is not only fast on the straights, but is also strong on the brakes and can handle the high kerbing.
“Maybe something will change for Monza and we will have a car that is capable of competing. I don’t want to be faster than the competition, I just want to race on a level playing field and I trust the championship will get it right soon.”
American racer Gleason is aiming for consistent results at Monza, admitting to being impressed to be able to race at a circuit with such a long tradition.
“I shook down the car at Monza over 15 laps, but racing there is going to be special and it’s something to tick off the bucket list,” said Gleason. “The track has so much history with F1 and Ferrari, and I think touring cars will be fun to race on the long straights.
“I’m expecting there to be a lot of drafting and this will be particularly important for setting a good lap time in qualifying, with a lot of hard racing and position changes in the races.
“It’s difficult to slipstream with your teammates in qualifying so I just have to try to be in the right place at the right time to ensure I can pitch a draft from one of the quicker cars.
“The core aim every weekend is to win and I’m certainly searching for the illusive first victory, having achieved second and third-place results this season. However, I just want two strong finishes in both races at Monza – I’ll be satisfied if I’ve done the best I can.”