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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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Solid WS finishes while final lap brake drama costs Patrick points
Faster Than Speed - China Report
Faster Than Speed had a mixed weekend in
"Faster Than Speed 2007" Shanghai, China. The team enjoyed a few solid results in the World Series but saw Faisal Niazi's podium streak come to an end and Patrick De Wit denied of a point-scoring finish after suffering a brake failure in the final lap of the World Championship race.
In World Series Amateur, Drazen Cokor was 3rd fastest in the Q1 session and 8th in Q2. Unfortunately, he had to start from 16th due to a penalty he was carrying from the previous race.
A wrong pitstop strategy meant Drazen had to do an unplanned stop for a new set of tyres despite being fueled up for the whole race distance. This compromised his chances for a better position but he still drove a solid race to 6th position.
In World Series Pro, Faisal Niazi was 2nd fastest in both Qualifying sessions, while Mindaugas Latisenka was 5th in Q1, later setting the 4th laptime in Q2.
Unfortunately, Faisal's podium streak and his mathematical championship hopes were ended after being a victim of a first lap collission with Luis Fernando Laaff, which meant an early retirement. Team mate Mindaugas had better luck, driving a strong race with several battles to finish in 5th position.
Both Faisal and the team are still in 2nd position in the respective championships.
In World Series Ace, Christian Smirnoff was the sole FTS runner, taking 8th place in Q1, improving to 5th in the Q2 session.
Despite not being comfortable with the car, Christian managed to pass several cars and obtain a better result than he expected, finishing in 4th position, with both Klaus Kaag and Joao Barbosa attacking him until the checkered flag.
Christian Smirnoff (4th): "I could do a good lap in Q2 to qualify 5th, which was a surprize honestly as I was not very comfortable with the setup and I was off pace here, although
"Drazen Cokor / FTS-P7 (Photo by Sam Giltner)" it was not as bad as I expected.
I had to climb from 9th after a small mistake in lap 1. I could pass Erme (Uysal), Klaus (Kaag) and Hans-Bodo (Kohl) and also had some nice battles with Bono (Huis) and Joao (Barbosa). I got up to 4th, though the last laps were difficult as I had both Klaus and Joao attacking me from behind, but I managed to keep 4th. The race gave me quite a bit of work but I'm happy because it was the best possible result with the pace and setup I had.
The gap in the championship is now 22 points. Sorry for Fred (Gosling) who had problems. I also had mines in Turkey when I couldn't race due to Internet failure though. He's still the favourite anyway as he has a very good gap, but I will try to be strong in Brazil where I won last year. Grats to "Machi" (Schönbeck) for his first win."
The gap to Fred Gosling in the Drivers Championship was reduced to 22 points and Christian will aim to force a definition in the last race at Fuji, Japan.
In the World Championship, Patrick De Wit and Guiseppe Marconi set the 9th and 13th fastest times in the Qualifying session.
The start was disappointing for Patrick, as after being hit by Sergio Casalins, he would need to climb from the back. Patrick drove a strong race, overtaking a few cars including his team mate Guiseppe, and looked set for a 7th place finish. It wasn't to be though, as a catastrophic brake failure in the first turn of the final lap of the race sent Patrick into the barriers and out of the points. He was eventually classified 9th. Guiseppe's race was compromised after a colission with Blair Disley, and finished in 10th position.
Patrick De Wit (9th): "My Qualifying performances are going from bad to worse. I don't know what the problem is, but my races seem to go better.
But today was not my day.
"Faisal Niazi, FTS-P7 (Photo by Sam Giltner)" I started 9th on the grid and was 7th after turn 1. I was on the outside in turn 3, trying to pass Malezic, he defended and I had no option than to steer to the middle of the corner, almost outside and I just got a hard knock on my rear the moment I accelerated. It was Casalins. These things can happen but nevertheless not a great way to start a race. Coming from the back of the field just like in Indianapolis and Nurbrugring, this time it was really hard to pass. I had great fights with Disley and my team mate. For sure he was not going to make me any favours! Was a very nice fight, he did make it harder for me than I had expected but that's racing.
Then in pitstop I passed Rouault and then due to Malezic's retirement I was promoted to 7th, not bad due to circumstances!
In the last 14 laps I was cathing Greco all the time, and I pushed hard. Then at the beginning of my final lap, lap 56, my left front brake decided to quit on me in turn 1. I had no chance to save it and had a high speed crash. If it happened in a slow turn nothing would have happened, I would have just overshot my braking point.
It's a shame, 9th place, 1 lap down, still classified but a very disappointing weekend, not what I expected. The field was very competitive."
Guiseppe Marconi (10th): "Congratulations to Bruno (Marques) for his surely second title."
Faster Than Speed remains in a best ever 4th position in the Constructors Championship, with Patrick De Wit 5th in the Driver Standings.
Faster Than Speed
Article by: Christian Smirnoff, 2007-10-17 06:19:30