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Track: Round 12: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
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Jorge conquers Monte Carlo on FTS debut! Patrick pulls off great comeback to 6th, while Nick takes yet another podium!
Faster Than Speed - Monaco Report
Faster Than Speed enjoyed a great weekend
"Jorge Maenen wins on FTS debut!" in the Principality. Jorge Maenen made his FTS debut in Monte Carlo, and got up to speed inmediately with his new FTS-P9, to clinch his and FTS' first victory of the season in WS Advanced.
In WC, Patrick De Wit survived a tough start to score 3 further points with an impressive comeback, while Nick Oldenhuis took his third podium out of four races in WS Amateur.
Patrick De Wit, Sergio Casalins and Florian Pechon, this time replacing Ernesto De Angelis, set the 3rd, 12th and 17th fastest laptimes respectively in Q1, advancing to the following session. Giuseppe Marconi, meanwhile, qualified 22nd.
In Q2, Patrick was again very strong to advance to the top-ten shootout with the 4th quickest time, while Sergio just missed the cut, qualifying 11th. Florian, with some unfortunate issues, couldn't set a time and was unable to take further part in the event.
In Q3, Patrick struggled to find grip with race settings, the issue translating into an 8th position on the grid.
After contact with another car and after clipping the guardrails in the swimming-pool section, Patrick's race started in a very difficult way. Patrick, visibly unable to handle his damaged FTS-P9 correctly, started losing several positions, before entering the pits for repairs on lap 3. While the pitstop dropped Patrick to the rear end of the pack, the team fuelled him very heavily, hoping to climb back through the field with only one further stop during the race. Patrick drove a fantastic low-key race, lapping very strongly despite his long stints, which meant in his final stint he drove 40 laps on the same set of tyres. After everyone else went for their respective stops, Patrick rose to 6th position, to score 3 further points. While the result was not the one he expected around Monaco, it was a great recovery after the very tough opening laps.
Unlike Patrick, Sergio had a great start to the race, climbing to the points in the first laps. Unfortunately for him, though, the unforgiven barriers cost him the loss of his front wing. After pitting for a new nose cone, Sergio went on but had to retire later with a damaged car. Giuseppe had similar fortunes, he tried to continue after losing his front wing in the middle of a battle with two other cars, but as the suspension was broken,
"http://www.fts-racing.net" he retired soon after.
World Series Ace
Florian Pechon had a strong Qualifying, setting the 13th fastest time. Gabriel Montanes, meanwhile, qualified 22nd.
In the race, unfortunately both drivers were hit by other competitors. Florian was crashed by Meglic on the opening lap. After pitting for repairs, he was fuelled very heavily to try to make up the lost ground, but as it can happen in Monaco when you push hard with a very heavy car, Florian slid off the track and into the barriers, ending his race. Gabriel, meanwhile, was very well placed, in the top-ten, when an accident with Poniatowski left him out of the race on lap 4.
World Series Pro
Pablo Tassano, Faster Than Speed's sole runner in this WS Pro race, qualified 20th, climbing spectacularly to 8th by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately, another victim of the mighty barriers, he pitted several times trying to get back into the race, but his car was too damaged to continue.
World Series Advanced
Jorge Maenen made his debut for Faster Than Speed in Monaco, racing for the FTS Advanced Panthers team. The Belgian, who challenged Florian Pechon for last year's WS Advanced championship, is eager for success in 2009.
He showed his intentions inmediately as he set the quickest time in Q1. Roy Wachtmeester also secured a Q2 spot with the 8th fastest laptime, while Drazen Cokor qualified 20th.
In Q2, Jorge just missed out on pole, but secured a front-row position, while Roy took 7th on the grid.
Roy had a difficult start, as he clipped a barrier and lost his front wing on the opening lap. He quickly entered the pits, rejoined with a heavy fuel load in 22nd position. Driving very strongly, overtaking several cars and benefitting from his late stops, Roy climbed to a solid 4th position by the end of the race, despite the first-lap trouble. Team mate Drazen had a difficult race on the wrong tyre compound, but still made it to the points in 13th position.
Jorge, meanwhile, fought hard for the race win against Borna Spoljaric. Jorge, showing exceptional pace throughout the race, clearly had the upper hand on Spoljaric in the closing laps, but as usual, it's not easy to overtake at Monaco. With only a few laps to go, however, Spoljaric exited very slowly out of the Anthony Noghes corner, and Jorge took
"Jorge Maenen (FTS-P9, Panthers livery)" the chance to go side-by-side to pass. In a highly controversial move, Borna Spoljaric steered into Jorge's FTS-P9, the contact sending both drivers into the barriers. While Spoljaric's move cost him his own front wing, Jorge was lucky to escape with lessr damage, being able to lead the last laps to take his and Faster Than Speed's first victory of the season in Monte Carlo.
The result means Faster Than Speed remains the only WS Advanced winner in Monte Carlo, as Florian Pechon won the division's inaugural Monaco race in 2008, in what was the first of his series of 8 victories during the season.
World Series Amateur
Nick Oldenhuis was 3rd quickest in Q1. His new team mate, returning to FTS after a short stint at Torrent Motorsports, was Juan Nicola, who set the 6th fastest time. Heinz Vanderhoydonck, meanwhile, qualified in 15th place.
In Q2, Nick and Juan secured 6th and 7th on the grid respectively.
Nick drove a very strong race, making a solid start and reaching a podium position after his pitstop. Nick defended his 3rd place determinedly to take his third podium in the last four races.
Heinz, meanwhile, had a difficult race as he was hit on the formation lap, meaning he had to drive with a damaged suspension. Things got even worse when he had to pit for a new front wing after making contact with a car that was sideaways, blocking the track. Despite all the problems, however, Heinz drove very strongly to the last point, finally ending his streak of unlucky retirements as he finished in 14th position.
Juan had a solid first stint on his FTS return, but unfortunately, he was unable to be serviced for fuel and tyres in the pits due to a technical problem, which left him out of the race.
Faster Than Speed's next destination is the Istanbul Park, in Turkey. At the Otodrom, Patrick De Wit took the team's and his first and only to date World Championship victory in 2007, while the team had won all WS races at the venue in 2006, including a 1-2 finish in WS Ace. FTS will be definitely looking forward to repeat these success stories at the following race weekend!
Faster Than Speed
Article by: Christian Smirnoff, 2009-06-04 00:04:46