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Date: 2018-10-07 18:36:41
League: World Championship
Track: Round 12: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
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Christian pulls off final lap pass to snatch Monza victory!
Faster Than Speed - Italy Report
Only a week after Patrick's Turkish
"Faster Than Speed 2007" WC victory, Faster Than Speed has again climbed to the top step of the podium after Christian Smirnoff took his first win of the season and fifth of his WS Ace career with a thrilling final lap in Monza, repeating last year's success!
In World Series Amateur, Drazen Cokor was 10th quickest in the Q1 session, as team mate Boy De Wit was 18th fastest on his second race weekend. In Q2, Drazen was sent to 21st on the grid despite being 9th fastest, due to incredibly harsh penalties given at the previous race.
In the race, Drazen recovered brilliantly with a 0-stop strategy and looked set for his first podium until a colission with Jesper Ohrman punctured one of his tyres and the pitstop dropped him back to 13th. However, Drazen made up some places to finish 9th. Boy, meanwhile, finished just outside the points in 15th.
In World Series Pro, Faisal Niazi was 3rd in the Q1 session, later taking 4th on the grid during Q2. Unfortunately, he lost his chances for another podium after contact from Nicholas Morse on lap 2. However, despite driving a damaged car, Faisal made it to checkered flag, in a strong 4th position.
In World Series Ace, Christian Smirnoff was 2nd fastest in Q1 after topping the Free Practice session, missing pole by 0.039s. Team mate Gabriel Garivaldis was 4th with Theo Gort in 9th position. In Q2, Gabriel was a strong 3rd but started 7th due to a penalty, while Christian, in a different race strategy, was 6th, benefiting from penalties to start 4th. Theo was also penalized and started 13th after being 8th quickest.
In the race, Gabriel suffered a very early retirement. In the Formation Lap, Gabriel had to brake very hard to avoid Steve Kasimatis and lost the back of his car, ending up in the barriers. The team tried to get Gabriel back on track but he was disqualified after leaving the pitlane under red light.
Christian had a much better start and climbed to 2nd after the first corner. After being blocked by a backmarker, Christian just lost out to Gosling after the first round of pitstops, and to Kaag after the second. Christian went twice side by side with Klaus Kaag into turn 1 but the Danish driver defended his line well. After Gosling crashed out, Christian went to battle it out with Kaag for victory.
In the final lap, Kaag made a small mistake in the second Lesmo and Christian decided to go for it, knowing it was his last chance. With both drivers side by side into Ascari, Christian overtook Kaag through the outside to take the lead with just Parabolica remaining. After leading his only half lap of the day, Christian took his second consecutive win in Italy by 0.349s!!
Theo Gort also had a very strong race, showing highly competitive pace before a brake failure ended his chances of a top-4 position. However, Theo still managed to end the race, in 6th position.
Christian Smirnoff (1st): "Yes! I won!! I really can't believe it, as I only led one lap, the last one, the one that matters!
I did P1 in Free Practice, then had my best ever Q1 with P2, just 0.039 off Gosling's pace. It was a 1:22.6 and I lost over two tenths in sector 1 of my best lap. Would have been 1st with my time from minutes earlier. Q2 was
"The FTS-P7 on track! (Photo by Sam Giltner)" also very good, I was 6th as I was very heavy, 30 laps of fuel for a 1 stopper.
I had a good start and I climbed to 2nd but then Kaag and Kasimatis passed as I was much heavier. I thought my strategy wouldn't work as Gosling went out of his first stop just ahead of me, after a backmarker cost me a few seconds. When Kaag did his second stop, he also exited just ahead of me so I was a bit disappointed. I twice tried to pass him side by side into T1, but he defended very well, so I thought it would be 3rd for me, which wasn't bad. But with 4 laps to go, Fred went off and then I knew that I had to put pressure to Kaag.
In the last lap, Klaus made a very small mistake in the second Lesmo and I knew it was the last chance and went for it. He took the inside, so I slipstreamed into Ascari and passed round the outside! Just Parabolica left and I won by 0.349!!
This win feels very special. I know the situation in the championship is still not great after my Internet problems in Turkey, but this season was difficult for me, started way off the pace, so I really thought I wouldn't win any races this year!"
In the World Championship, Patrick De Wit qualified in 7th place with team mate Guiseppe Marconi in a strong 10th.
The race would end up in disappointment though, scoring no points. Patrick was unable to show the great pace he had in testing. The Istanbul winner, climbed to 4th in the first corner but missed his braking point while trying to pass Roy Kolbe at Parabolica and smahed his FTS-P7 against the barriers. The team tried to keep him out on track but the car was too damaged to continue.
Guiseppe also had a difficult start, having to cut through the grass after contact with another car in turn 1, he recieved a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, which cost him the chance to score points at his home race. Guiseppe arrived in 10th position.
Guiseppe Marconi (10th): "First of all I need to say sorry to Ernesto (De Angelis) for Qualifying. It's never in my mind to damage a friend, I thought I was quite far from you.
Had a better Qualifying this time, only 0.6 seconds over my best, so great improvement (laughs). Talking about the race, my 1-stop strategy was ruined at the start by a stop-and-go for cutting the first corner. I gave back all positions but still got the penalty..."
Patrick De Wit (DNF): "Well, what can I say. A bad Qualifying, P7 while speed for pole was there for sure. I was in P4 after turn 1. Then trying to overtake Kolbe going into Parabolica, I braked too late and hit the wall, ending my race. I feel very sorry for my team because today it would have been a podium for sure, which place I don't know."
After celebrating another victory, Faster Than Speed will be racing the fantastic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, which makes its awaited comeback to the FSR championships this year!
Faster Than Speed
Article by: Christian Smirnoff, 2007-09-13 01:37:35