This weekend we will see the final battles of the 2015 FIA WEC season. Eat the Ball Athlete Dominik “Dodo” Kraihamer and his REBELLION Racing Team are still fighting for the vice world champion in the LMP1-L. Before the race, we met Dodo Kraihamer for an interview.
Hi Dodo. The door is closing on the turbulent FIA WEC season 2015. What are your personal goals for the last race in Bahrain?
Dodo Kraihamer: My goal for this upcoming race is clear: to win. As we have had so many technical issues throughout the whole season it would be great for our hard working boys in the team and us drivers to finish it with a victory in the LMP1-L category. Therefore, everything has to work perfectly together, but I’m convinced that our latest problems have been properly analysed in order to have a reliable car.
You are fighting for the vice world champion in the LMP1-L. What are the chances to win this title?
Dodo Kraihamer: Finishing second in the championship is very realitstic. Our #12 sister car has already won the category as we had to abandon in the last race, now the team concentrates a 100% on securing 2nd overall with our #13 car. As seen in those last few races our performance is looking good, but in the end it will come down to the race car’s reliability.
You have a new team member instead of Daniel Abt. Mathéo Tuscher is taking place in the R-One #13 – what you can say about his performance in his first race three weeks ago?
Dodo Kraihamer: Daniel was replaced by Mathéo just a few days before the race at Shanghai, this wasn’t an easy situation for the young swiss boy. He was asking a lot of questions to get as much information as possible from the beginning on and was able to transfer it to driving on track, which was very impressive. This is one of the most important abilities to quickly gain self-confidence in a new situation. Mathéo did a great job during the race by handeling traffic in a very mature way and still hitting decent lap times. If he continues to work as hard i’m convinced that he will achieve nice results in endurance racing in the future.
In the past, you had serious problems with your R-One. Can the Team get rid of those technical issues?
Dodo Kraihamer: After the engine failure in the last race it was taken apart, sent back to Great Britain for analysis and furthermore modified. Everyone in the Rebellion team is working super hard to get rid of those technical issues, and to be honest, after all these problems we had, nearly every single part has been replaced at least once, so there has to be an end to it at some stage!
In Shanghai, it was an up and down most of the time. What was your take on the race?
Dodo Kraihamer: After all the free practices and qualifying went very well, especially without any technical problem, the car had a sensor failure soon after the beginning of the race, which was already enough to not being able to win the race anymore. Unfortunately we also had the engine failure 1:30 minutes before the end, which completely kept us from passing the chequered flag. It is a normal reaction to be frustrated and angry after that kind of race, but in the end you have to sit down, reflect for yourself and learn for the future. You can’t really chance the reliability of the technical side, the thing you have to work on is your performance. As long as you’ve given everything to win, you can’t blame yourself for not having tried.
We will take a look in the future: What are you plans for the next season 2016?
Dodo Kraihamer: At the moment I’m fully concentrating on this upcoming race at Bahrain. Afterwards I will sit down and will go through all the offers for next year. As it was communicated to me, the team is very happy with my developement and my job this season, we just will need to sit down to talk about conditions for next year. I feel very comfortable in the Rebellion team. Despite all these problems we have had so far this season, I fully believe in the team and would be happy to be able to continue working with the boys.
Dodo, good luck for the world championship final. We keep our fingers crossed!
Thanks a lot to you guys for all the support this season, you are the best!