Charlie Eastwood: “Imola will be a super tough race with the traffic”
Photo: WEC

Charlie Eastwood: “Imola will be a super tough race with the traffic”

In just over one week’s time, the FIA WEC will compete on European soil for the first time this season as the teams travel to Italy for the 6 Hours of Imola (19 – 21 April).

It will be the first time that the WEC has been to Imola but most of the teams and drivers are already familiar with the 4.9km Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari having recently tested or competed at other races here in the past.

One thing that most drivers seem to agree on, however, is that traffic management will be a big challenge for the upcoming WEC race. TF Sport recently tested at Imola with the Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R and heard from one of its drivers Charlie Eastwood following the session.

"I feel everyone is thinking the same thing in that it will be a super-tough race with traffic,” explained the Northern Irishman. “As we know, Imola has the characteristics of one of the more old-school European tracks. With that, it makes passing between LMGT3 and Hypercars very difficult. We might find that some Hypercars may be stuck behind GT3s for half a lap or maybe a third of a lap, which is a significant laptime loss for those guys."

Eastwood added: “During testing, we found that the delta of lap time between GT3 and Hypercar was significantly smaller than most circuits. The main reason for this is that at Imola in the GT3 cars, you can take a lot of kerbs. There has been a completely new profile of the kerbing around most of the circuit so that the GT3s can get right on top of the kerbs, which the Corvette was handling very well at the test but the Hypercars cannot - they have to drive around them. They are going to struggle to pass the GT cars very easily and likely see a lot of aggression into braking zones. It's going to be an interesting race and hard to know how it's fully going to pan out… but it will be action-packed and with a chance of some collisions between cars in different classes.”

Porsche Penske driver Andre Lotterer who also tested recently at Imola echoed Eastwood’s comments: “It will definitely be a challenge, it’s not a very big track and it’s narrow too so traffic will be tricky. Setting up the car correctly will be key.”

Tickets for next week’s WEC race at Imola are still available and can be purchased HERE.

Click HERE for the full entry list.

Race Timetable

Friday 19 April

Free Practice 1: 12:00 – 13:30

Free Practice 2: 17:15 – 18:45

Saturday 20 April

Free Practice 3: 11:10 – 12:10

Qualifying + Hyperpole: 14:45 – 15:55

Sunday 21 April

Race: 13:00 – 19:00