Mahindra working towards french renaissance
With three races done and with the European season gathering pace, the Mahindra team is relishing the challenge of round four at France’s classic racing venue – Le Mans.
It is the first visit to the challenging Bugatti circuit for the Moto3 class, and the new-generation 250cc four-stroke racers have been setting new standards and winning new fans. Close exciting racing is guaranteed, as 33 young riders vie to make their mark.
The majority ride over-the-counter production racers from established racing factories.
The Mahindra team is taking a more difficult but more rewarding path. The MGP-30 machines are all-independent, with a unique chassis and a shared-development specialist power unit.
Early-days results have been promising. With the white-and-red machines still at the beginning of development, riders Danny Webb (21, England) and Marcel Schrötter (19, Germany) are already knocking on the door of the top-15 points-scoring positions.
Webb achieved a best-so-far at the last round in Portugal, qualifying 18th. But his chances were scuppered by a technical issue in the race leading to a retirement. Back at base in Italy, Mahindra Racing’s team of experienced engineers have been working hard with a focus on improved reliability before a number of planned performance enhancements are implemented on the MGP-30s engine.
At Le Mans riders Danny and Marcel will be making maximum use of the MGP-30’s fine handling on the 2.60- mile (4.186-km) circuit’s twisty layout and long corners, and using every trick in the book to put the MGP-30 in the points.
But for a little problem in Portugal I felt we could have had the first points for the MGP-30. Le Mans will be another chance. I have a new engine; we need to get the chassis dialled in and everything working right, and then we’ll see what we can do.
It’s been tough so far, but step by step I get more confident. I had some problems off the start in Portugal and lost too many places, but when I got past them again I had a good steady pace, but too far away to do better than 19th. I need a better start at Le Mans.