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FTS suffers disastrous weekend at the Nurburgring
Faster Than Speed - Germany Report
Despite showing very promising pace in most
"German disaster for FTS" divisions, several accidents, mechanical failures and other unfortunate events, added up to result in a miserable weekend for Faster Than Speed in Germany.
The only points taken from the Nurburgring came from the WS Advanced division, where Roy Wachtmeester and Sven Hesse scored despite tough races.
Team-mates Patrick De Wit and Sergio Casalins advanced to the second Qualifying sesion after setting the 12th and 13th fastest times respectively in Q1. FTS NetRex's Giuseppe Marconi just missed the cut with the 20th time, while Agustin Canapino had issues which only allowed him to set a single timed lap, which left him 22nd.
In Q2, both Patrick and Sergio improved their laptimes. For Patrick, it was enough to earn a spot in the top-ten shootout as he set the 9th quickest time, while Sergio secured 13th on the grid.
In the decisive Q3 session, Patrick was 6th fastest. However, a problem with his radiator opening, meant that the team had to make a request for Patrick to be released from Parc Ferme conditions, at the expense of starting the race from the last position of the grid.
Both Sergio and Patrick made strong starts. However, the Ford Kurve would prove fatal for both in the first lap. Due to an unexpected problem with his downshifting paddle, Sergio lost control of his FTS-P9 under braking, ending his race in the gravel trap. As everyone behind him tried to take avoiding action, Patrick was left unfortunately with nowhere to go, and into an unavoidable colission with Andreas Eriksson, which left both drivers out of the race, and meant that both FTS cars retired on the opening lap.
Post race, the Race Director decided Patrick's stoppage after the incident was done in a dangerous fashion, and handed Patrick a race ban penalty for the Hungarian GP. While lamenting the punishment, the team decided to accept and comply with the penalty.
"http://www.fts-racing.net" Patrick will be replaced by Agustin Canapino in Hungarian soil.
For the FTS NetRex guys, the race lasted longer, but unfortunately also ended without points. Racing from Interlagos, where he took a fantastic 2nd in Top Race, competing among drivers like Jacques Villeneuve, Agustin drove a solid race despite technical problems with his new 'abroad' equipment, which contribuited to his race-ending spin on lap 46. Giuseppe's engine blew up a few laps later. He was still classified due to completing 90%, albeit 6 laps down in 12th position.
World Series Pro
Alberto De Juan, despite having a promising race pace, had a very frustrating race after qualifying 19th. Involved in a lap 2 incident, Alberto had to pit inmediately for a new wing. After the long stop for repairs, Alberto was soon a lap down on the leaders, and retired soon after as the car was too damaged to continue.
World Series Advanced
After Jorge Maenen's retirement from the FSR season to concentrate on his studies, Roy Wachtmeester teamed up with Sven Hesse. Roy set the 4th fastest lap in the Q1 session, securing a place in the following round, where he secured 6th on the grid. Sven and Drazen Cokor were unable to do so, qualifying 12th and 19th respectively.
Roy's car was unfortunately damaged during the Formation Lap, as he wasn't able to avoid contact with a spinning car. To add further trouble, he had to fight with gearshifting issues, which forced him into a spin. He later suffered another spin after contact from Hoelmer. Despite all these problems, a really competitive pace allowed him to climb back to 7th position, taking a strong result under the circumstances, but knowing that more was possible.
Sven also had a troublesome race. After a start incident, he then endured a long pitstop and a stop-and-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. While this initially took him out of the points,
"The FTS-P9 at the Nurburgring (Photo by Sven Hesse)" he won the battle for the last point, finishing in 14th place. Drazen dropped back the order after being spun around on the opening lap, while a small mistake later compromised him further. He was unable to make up the lost ground, finishing outside the points in 16th position, but maintaining his perfect finishing record this season.
World Series Amateur
FTS unfortunately had another difficult Saturday in the WS Amateur division. Juan Nicola was again strong in Qualifying, setting the 7th quickest time in Q1 before taking 9th on the grid during Q2. Tomas Marino, meanwhile, missed out on Q2 by less than two tenths of a second despite being only 14th fastest.
Unfortunately, Carlo Willemsen, stuck with a wrong tyre compound for Qualifying, plus Dutch team newcommers Michael Pieneman and Tom Aalders, who didn't enough enough time to get used to the controls of their FTS-P9's, were unable to pass the Top-26 cut in the highly-competitive session and didn't qualify for the race.
Juan and Tomas had tough races, both having to retire with few laps to go. As Juan retired from the points with 4 laps to go, Tomas suffered a brake failure which ended his race with 8 laps left.
Faster Than Speed will be hoping for a much better weekend in the Hungaroring. Despite Patrick's absence, the team will be targeting strong points in both the World Championship and the World Series. Good Qualifying performances and a solid race strategy will be the keys to a track which is famous for its difficulty for overtaking.
Faster Than Speed
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Article by: Christian Smirnoff, 2009-07-23 01:20:16