It became the third place for Mikkel O. Pedersen for his debut in the GT World Challenge Europe on Sunday on the Italian Imola track. In a field with 46 starting cars, he and his two teammates Andrea Rizzoli and Adrien De Leener drove Dinamic Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3-R to a general 16th place – and a third place in the Silver Cup.
“But it could just as well have been a victory. It was so close, ”says Mikkel O. Pedersen. He was the last of the three drivers who sat in Dinamic Motorsports Porsche, and when the checkered flag was waved, he had small four seconds up to the winner in the class.
“It was not much, and we lost time several times along the way, and if we had not done so, Andrea, Adrien and I could easily have won.”
The first round of the GT World Challenge Europe was run as a three-hour race with mandatory driver changes and tank stops. And the first of these was scheduled to take place after an hour of racing, but here there was a safety car on the track, and pretty much the entire field was going in the pit. “Dinamic’s other car had to refuel first, so we had to wait a bit before we could get to, and this cost time,” says Mikkel O. Pedersen. “Unfortunately, we also added time when I had to get in the car because we had to fumble with the seat belts when I had to take over the wheel after Adrien. A stupid beginner’s mistake. “
But when Mikkel O. Pedersen first got behind the wheel, he showed his abilities to handle the white, black and orange Porsche. “On the way to the first turn after the finish line, a Lexus driver tried to pass me inside, but he hit me in the side,” he says. “He could drive through the bend while I had to walk through the gravel. I got the car back on the asphalt, and even though the Lexus driver got a penalty, we lost time that way. ”
Throughout the final part of the race, he struggled to get past the astonishing Aston Martin, who took second place in the Silver Cup. “It was my first race at Imola, and it turned out to be a course where it is difficult to overtake,” says Mikkel O. Pedersen. “I was struggling with the Aston Martin driver, but suddenly I was passed by a car from the Pro class on one of the last laps. I ended up right in the bumper of him, and half a second ahead of us was the Aston Martin that I would have liked to have beaten. ”
“I am very pleased with my debut in GT World Challenge Europe,” says Mikkel O. Pedersen. “It’s a little different from the Supercup races I’ve run in the recent seasons. Everyone drove at the border for half an hour, but here there are other factors in the race, where we are three drivers who have to share the race car. I just have to get used to it. And then the Imola course was also a completely new experience for me, but I think I got the course well under my skin. It will definitely get better for the next races when we get to some of the tracks I have driven before. ”