Ferdinand Habsburg joined Prema Racing for the Italian outfit’s debut year in endurance racing, just like he did last year with Team WRT, he finished the season winning the championship, adding one more title to his impressive tally.
After winning the Asian Le Mans Championship, Le Mans 24, and the FIA WEC title last year, Ferdinand became European Champion this year, joining an elite group of people who were able to achieve the “Quadruple crown” in LMP2.
Habsburg shared the #9 Prema Team Oreca with 2021 ELMS champion Louis Deletraz for the full /entirety of the season, joined by Lorenzo Colombo for the first four races and Juan Manuel Correa for the final two rounds. The young squad delivered an astonishing four wins in total, including the season opener at the Paul Ricard and the season finale in Portimão, scoring five podium finishes in 6 races in the highly competitive championship, battling series stalwart teams to win the drivers’ and the Team’s championship.
They arrived in Portimão with a 24-point lead over Panis Racing, meaning that they only needed to put the car on pole to seal the title. It was Deletraz’s task to qualify the #9 Oreca and he delivered a magnificent lap, but unfortunately, the Team Turkey car snatched the pole from him in the last minute, so the title fight carried on into Sunday.
LMP2 rookie Correa took the start under the gloomy skies and drizzling rain, putting the American-Ecuadorian driver to a challenge as he never raced the car in the wet, but that didn’t seem to bother him and he snatched the lead right at the start, championing the tricky conditions before passing the wheel to Ferdinand in P3 with two and a half hours left on the clock.
The REMUS Performance Sport Exhaust supported driver went on a charge and after a perfectly executed move on the Inter Europol car inside T3 he threw himself after the leading TDS Racing car. With the help of Prema’s perfect strategy, he took back the lead just when the race reached its halfway mark. From then on, the #9 squad could have just played it safe considering that the title rivals were in a safe distance down in P4 and they only needed to finish in the points to grab the title, but they wanted to go out with a bang and so they did. Ferdinand pulled a stunning gap before handing the car to Louis and the Swissman finished the job with a perfect stint to score Prema Team’s fourth win of the 2022 ELMS season, claiming both LMP2 titles.
‘’We came, we saw, and we won, Italian style! It’s been an epic season and it was everything I dreamed of what it’s like to be a Prema driver. I had an amazing time with my friends, and we won the ELMS! Big thanks to Rene, Ralf, my mates Louis, Lorenzo, and JM, and the entire Prema crew. The car was brilliant, and so was the team spirit. It’s been a pleasure to race in red thanks to my partners REMUS Performance Sport Exhausts, AVL Racetech, Sanlas, Jansen Competition, Bell for their continuous support and to Bullet Sports Management for paving the way.”
Although the ELMS season is over, there is still one more race left to win on Ferdinand’s calendar, the FIA WEC season finale in Bahrain in less than a month (10-12 November)