Up-and-coming racing superstar Ferdinand Habsburg has finished his debut endurance motor race, Daytona 24 Hours, in fifth place overall in the #78 Jackie Chan DC Racing by JOTA Oreca LMP2, alongside Ho-Pin Tung, Alex Brundle and Antonio Felix Da Costa.
The 20-year old from Vienna had a week of firsts – it was his first endurance race, his first race in an LMP2 car and his first car race in the USA – but he showed great maturity and intelligence as he tackled the challenges ahead.
“It’s so different to everything I’ve ever done,” explained the single-seater racer who is making waves on the F3 scene. “The long stint times and minimal sleep aside, I had to get quick at driver changes, learn to manage traffic, try and feel at home in the closed-cockpit LMP2 car and get used to racing in team of drivers… but I loved all of it!”
In fact, the F3 rising star adapted well to all of the changes and lapped the 5.73-km speedway circuit as quick as many of the seasoned professionals in the twice-around-the-clock endurance race. And, despite it being his debut endurance race, Habsburg carved through the heavy traffic of 50 cars in three classes with confidence and pace, never putting a foot wrong.
“It was so much fun to weave through the traffic. You have to be safe and look after the car but you can’t afford to let your lap times drop – it’s such a competitive event with some huge names competing so the pressure is on for the full 24 hours.”
Despite the pressure, the team and drivers all performed perfectly and they climbed from their starting position of eleventh to run as high as fourth overall. When the chequered flag fell they crossed the line in fifth, a result to be proud of.
“I was so impressed with the team and I’ve learned so much from my team-mates. I’d love to do some more endurance races in the future but now I must return to Europe and prepare for my single-seater season ahead.”
Habsburg will announce his 2018 racing season later this week.