- Agustin Canapino and Alex Arana are guests on ‘Midweek Motorsport’ following their victory in round three of the DNLS powered by VCO.
- Arana: “Agustin is a monster”.
- Canapino: “I am ready for the 24-hour race”.
Munich – After two podiums in the opening two races of the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO, Agustin Canapino and Alex Arana of the MAHLE RACING TEAM completed a spectacular comeback to claim their maiden victory on Saturday. In the VCO Victory Lane Interview with legendary commentator John Hindaugh from Radio Show Limited, the Williams Esports duo spoke in Wednesday evening’s ‘Midweek Motorsport’ podcast about their success, their relationship as team-mates, and preparations for this weekend’s iRacing 24h Nürburgring powered by VCO.
Here you can find the podcast with John Hindhaugh:
John Hindhaugh: Agustin, let’s start with the qualifying. You only had one lap. How big was the pressure?
Agustin Canapino: This time the qualifying was very good. I had a lot of practice with Alex on this very very difficult circuit. I need more practice for the 24-hour race this weekend. The race at the last weekend was very difficult because the level of competition was very high, but the race was good. We had good pace and a great victory.
Hindhaugh: You said you need more practice but you put the car on pole position. It looks as you clearly got the hang of it out very quickly…
Canapino: Yes, but that is because the setup of our Audi is very very good and my teammates are very fast and help me a lot. This is the most help I have, especially Alex who is very very fast on the Nordschleife.
Hindhaugh: I think it is fair to say that the race didn’t go to plan. After the start you had an accident with Philipp Eng. What happened?
Canapino: Yes, at Mutkurve, Philipp hit me in the back. Things like this can happen in racing, but we needed to change our strategy and had to stop very early. In the next two stints Alex pushed very hard and when I took the wheel again I could go to the end without any problems and win the race after BS+COMPETITION had a penalty.
Hindhaugh: When you took the car over from Agustin, did you think “That’s it and our chances for a victory are over”?
Alex Arana: No, I never thought that the race was over. You always need to keep your head down and go to the finish because you never know what will happen on this track. The Nordschleife is so complex and every driver can make a small mistake. So we had our heads down and tried to go as quick as we can with the damaged car.
Hindhaugh: How much of the damage could you fix at the first pit stop. Or did you just leave the damage as it was?
Arana: We didn’t fix the damage that we had. If you do a repair you get a five minute penalty and we didn’t want that because the race would have been over if you take that.
Hindhaugh: You’ve had a really great start to the season with the MAHLE RACING TEAM. Your team mate Agustin said he hadn’t driven so much on the Nordschleife in the simulator before. He has picked this up very quickly, right Alex?
Arana: Yes, absolutely. The circuit was totally new for him, but he learned the track in about one week. In my opinion he really has a very great pace. I’m very experienced on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and I can track every driver on how good his pace is or not. I was really surprised how Agustin did. He is like a monster.
Hindhaugh: It’s clear that you two have a very good relationship and that’s important in any form of motor racing. Alex lives in Bilbao and you, Agustin, in Argentina. How difficult is it for you to live so far apart?
Canapino: Of course it’s not easy. The relationship between the drivers – and between team-mates – is never that easy because they are all in competition with each other. But with Alex and me there is a special relationship. He is my friend and we have already shared very good moments. And I think this is the most important in this sport.
Hindhaugh: Are you able to enjoy racing at the Nordschleife yet because it’s such a complicated track?
Canapino: At this moment yes. But at the first moment it was really hard and I suffered a lot. But in this moment now I started to enjoy the track.
Hindhaugh: Let’s bring it back to the race at the past weekend. Alex, when did you know that you had won the race? Did you know it after crossing the line?
Arana: I realised that we won after the race when we gave an interview and asked the reporter if we won and he confirmed that we won. So it was a great moment.
Hindhaugh: Would you have been happy with second place – especially after the start of the race and contact with Eng?
Arana: Yes. Finishing on the podium on this track is always very special. It is a very complex circuit where everything can be over in a split second.
Hindhaugh: Agustin, it’s the Nürburgring 24-hour race on iRacing (powered by VCO) this weekend. Are you ready for it and have you done some darkness running on the Nordschleife?
Canapino: I’m ready for the Nürburgring 24-hour race but this week I will practice a lot in night mode. It is a big difference, especially seeing the brake reference in the dark is very difficult. For that I need practice but I think I will be perfectly prepared by the end of the week.
Hindhaugh: Alex, how do you approach a 24-hour race in the sim world?
Arana: For me it’s like in the real world. You need to work really hard on the car, on the setup of the car and also on the driving to be successful.
The DNLS powered by VCO race calendar
21st MarchRound 1
4th AprilRound 2
18th AprilRound 3
2nd MayRound 4
30th MayRound 5
13th JuneRound 6
15th AugustRound 7
17th OctoberRound 8
14th NovemberRound 9
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