InterviewsSports/GT

Indy, Spa, overnight flights all the part of the Tony Kanaan game

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Tony Kanaan has his work cut out for him this weekend at the Total 6 Hours of Spa – the opening round of the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship Superseason.

Pre race press conference , 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps, Route du Circuit, Francorchamps, Belgium

Flying into Europe on the redeye, he took the Ford GT to the first free practice session. Things were made more difficult for him by taking on a car with a flatspotted tyre.

“It was funny as I got in the car and they told me Andy had a big lock up but we didn’t want to change the tyre. To know the track I let one of the Porsches by and I was following him but locked up!” Kanaan said.

“That didn’t help my case. For the next three laps there was huge vibration but it was – we had a tail wind going into that corner and braked too deep. He went straight, I still made the corner but had a big lockup.”

It was perhaps made only slightly easier by having visited Spa 25 years ago in a one-off race in the Formula Opel Euroseries.

But as he mentioned, the bus stop went the other way back then, so the track is not completely the same.

It represents the start of a busy time for Kanaan that sees him driving a car for every weekend for the next three months with races including the Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

But it is also important for Kanaan as he joins a team that is battling for the GT Pro title.

“It is a big responsibility. They have a championship ahead of them and it is extremely kind of them to give a couple of hours running this weekend to prepare – they didn’t have to.

“I am going to try to stay out of trouble and help them out – we have a good car and this is a fun racetrack.

“I did my five laps this morning after a 12 hour flight. I am excited – we have a great group of guys.”

 

 

The RacerViews info

Words by Sam Tickell, April 2018

Photos from Paul Foster

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