Jorrit Pex, 2015 CIK-FIA KZ World Champion, tells us how he beat the best drivers in the world.
The upbringing, the choice of equipment, and ultimately the race weekend. Jorrit Pex shares the details that led up to his fantastic weekend in Le Mans.
Here's an extract of the Special dedicated to his exploit in Vroom International October issue.
What an incredible weekend… And what unexpected, riveting conclusion…
“The weekend began very well, we had good speed already in the first free practice and we were in top-5 in all free practice sessions. We were very consistent, the balance was very good, and we didn’t make many changes to the set-up. I know I had the equipment to be in the top-3, it was just a question of fine-tuning what we had.
Then in qualifying we came very close to the pole position and it was then that we realized we had a good chance to win.”
You are no stranger to victory. You have won a European Championship in 2012, a WSK title in the same year, and as many as four German DKM Championships. But the World crown is something different…
“True! The thing is that you work for this your entire career. As you said, we have already won in the past, also some prestigious titles like the European Championship, but you always feel like something is missing. You know that as well or as bad you may have done during the season, the World Championship can change everything. It’s such a special race, and it’s one that usually gets decided in the last few laps, or even in the last few corners, as it’s happened this year. And it’s amazing to come out on top!
At first you don’t realize what you’ve achieved. It’s like a dream, from which you are afraid you will have to wake up. You come back to parc-fermé, you make sure that everything is ok at the scale, everyone in the team starts celebrating and only then you know it’s a dream come true. It’s a fantastic feeling! Your family, the team, the Crg mechanics, everyone together to share such a special, unforgettable moment.”
How important is to have won the World Championship as a private driver?
“It’s very important. We’ve always raced as a family team, with the support of Crg and Tm, and we have to make the most of what we have. In the World Championship we had two engines, one from Tm and one tuned by my father and Jos (Verstappen, author’s note). And I think this is very good also for the sport, because it shows that a private driver can be as competitive as factory ones.
So big part of my success goes to my father and Jos, who finds the time to help my dad tuning my engines even now that he’s so busy with Max’ F1 career, to Crg and Tm, and to those who have supported me, in what is essentially a family effort.”
What would you say was outstanding during the weekend?
“The chassis! Despite the changing weather throughout the weekend, and the difficult conditions of the track in the heats, the chassis proved really consistent. Then the prefinal was very close, but our performance continued to be very good. And in the final, with the track improving, I knew we had the potential to bring the title home.”
What’s your take on the last lap of the final? You started it all bunched up, and then De Conto started to defend losing 2 tenths in the first sector. Do you think he was too tight?
“It was very hard for me to close the gap on Paolo, because my pace was pretty similar to his..."
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