Despite three gruelling weeks as the MotoGP calendar took them from Indianapolis to Silverstone via Brno, Aleix and Pol Espargaro were back in action this weekend as they competed in the 24 Hour Trofeu Fermí Vélez car race in Barcelona.
The event took place at the newly-named Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, as local men Aleix (Power Electronics Aspar, MotoGP) and Pol (Tuenti HP 40, Moto2) joined a field of 63 entrants.
The Granollers pairing competed in a Renault Clio Cup for Black Motorsport, sharing the car with Ignacio Escofet and Jordi Gaig. The four-driver team ended the twice around-the-clock event in 39th position and eighth in the A2 class, having encountered technical problems as well as an off-track excursion during a heavy rainstorm.
“I’m really happy – I enjoyed it a lot but now I am a bit tired!” Aleix commented. “The car was destroyed by the end because we had a lot of bumps with others, but we enjoyed it a lot; it was definitely a good experience and I hope we can repeat it in the future.”
“Sure, we want to come back,” added Pol, who in 2014 will join his brother in the MotoGP™ premier class. “It will depend on whether we have a Grand Prix that weekend, but I would like to come back and do it a little bit better, with less problems!”
The elder of the two siblings was particularly pleased with his opening lap to the 24 Hour race, on which he was able to briefly overhaul numerous quicker cars on a drying track.
“The track was a bit wet and I was scared to go out on slick tyres, so I put wets on,” Aleix laughed. “It was not the right decision, as after three laps I had to pit and change tyres, but the first lap was unbelievable – I started to overtake Porsches and Ferraris in a Renault Clio! It was fun, really fun, but at that point we needed about 200 more horsepower!”
The event was won by Hofer – Racing, crossing the finish line at noon on Sunday. The next challenge for the Espargaro brothers will be Round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, the GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini next weekend.
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