A few weeks before the infamous Malaysian monsoons, the weather already caused troubles as it rained on the 12 Hours of Sepang’s parade, in the Kuala Lumpur region. These Dantean conditions did not bother Vincent Abril in his new routine as a professional race driver. Now racing for the Bentley Team M-Sport, the freshly crowned Blancpain Sprint Series champion already feels ‘at home’ within the Malcolm Wilson organization.
Vincent, you spent a lot of time with your new engineering crew before the race. Tell us more about this new ‘family’ of yours…
“To be honest, I left a German team for an English one, which offers an advantage as I don’t need to learn a new language! On a more serious note, we gathered the week before the race for a physical training in the Malaysian mountains in order to know each other better. This is obviously an essential step before a 12-hour race like this one, but it goes beyond the trials as it proved to be an enriching human experience which allowed me to immediately blend in this fantastic team”.
Once on the track, you officially started your career as a professional race driver. Did it change your appreciation of the race?
“I won’t lie: after signing the contract, I was wondering about it. It’s true that I now have to put the manufacturer’s interests before my own personal objectives. Anyway, it changed neither my working methodology nor my driving style because they are the reason why Bentley trusted me in the first place. Keeping up the good work of 2015 will be the best way to fulfill my contract”.
Unfortunately, technical issues impeded your progression in this interesting race. How would you assess these 12 Hours of Sepang?
“A gearbox compressor cost us a good overall result but, to be fair, we lacked the pace to challenge the leaders for victory. This remains a positive experience as we gathered all the data to work during the winter and prepare for the arrival of the new GT3 cars next year. I’m also delighted that I was able to bond with my teammates and crew. We are already heading to 2016 altogether, as a team… as a family”.
Source. Vincent Abril