MEDIABALAP.com (Jakarta) – Robin Frijns returns to competition at Sebring this week for the first time since suffering serious hand and wrist injuries in accident at the Mexico City EPrix in January
The No.31 WRT driver, who races with Ferdinand Habsburg and Sean Gelael in LMP2, tested out the strength of his left hand in the Prologue last weekend with positive results.
The 2021 WEC LMP2 champion is noted as one of the vest quickest drivers in the WEC and cannot wait to get stuck in to the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring this Friday.
“It has been a tough few months, I’m not made to be sat at home watching movies,” said Frijns at Sebring.
“I need to be in a race car, it’s my natural home so I am really excited about this week. I think we can have a super strong result here and throughout the season. I did one and a half stints in the Prologue, which was planned, and I had no issues. I just do the stints they want me to do. If it’s one or two in a row then I don’t mind.
“It (the injury) has healed well but it still needs more to get full strength like before but I feel ok in the car and I’m ready to go.”
Frijns reckons that the 2023 WEC season will be one of the most competitive and close ever to play out, saying that he thought WRT could avenge last season when minor issues and incidents cancelled out the possibility of defending its 2021 crown.
“I think the championship itself will be a lot closer than it has been for the last two years,” said the Dutchman.
“I think last year we definitely had the best car on the grid. We were usually always the quickest, let’s say. If it wasn’t for issues in Monza and Le Mans we would be definitely have challenged much more of course.
“It was a bit of an unfortunate year last year but now we’ve had some rules changes, we don’t have tyre heating anymore, we have minimum tyre pressure, minimum camber degrees as well, so that’s putting all the pack all together very closely.”
Frijns said that he was still unclear what the exact hierarchy of competitive order will be in LMP2 this season, but one thing he does know is that it will be “unbelievably close.”
“I think it’s going to be very difficult first to see where we are, I don’t think that we are the quickest at the moment – if you just look at the Prologue JOTA are looking very strong but we don’t know what others are doing with minimum pressures and so forth.
“We’ll wait and see how the race goes first but I’m not really saying now that we are the strongest and we’re going to win. For me, this is not the case yet.
Frijns also discussed the current boom in endurance racing saying that he found it “really exciting that so many manufacturers are committing to it now.”
“I think this is going to be one those golden eras coming along again,” he said. “Obviously it’s early days to say this but everyone is hopeful about it, there are a lot of manufacturers becoming involved now, so it’s every cool to see that everybody jumps on the same train at the moment.” (fiaWEC/arl/wto)