Podium in the Eurocup at the first race weekend

YMIV8218The first of seven World Series by Renault Weekends of 2014 took place on the attractive racetrack Motorland Aragon in Alcaniz, Spain. The weather forecast was not too bad for the weekend of 26th/27th of April; partly cloudy and 18 -20 degrees, but strong wind gusts and possibly some rain were expected in between.

On Friday there were two free training sessions of 1 hour. These went quite well. I was in both ranked as 8th. The first training was at 09.00 a.m. and was interrupted after 10 minutes because it has blown advertising signs on the track. Until the track was cleared and secured, the session was already finished. Fortunately it was extended by 20 minutes. The second training was at 1.30 p.m. This time there were no major interruptions and we could use the time optimally.

Qualifying for race 1 According to the regulations, there is a qualifying session of 15 minutes for each race. The drivers are split into two groups and they do the sessions direct after the other. The qualifying for the first race was scheduled for 09.30 a.m. It was almost cloudless and windless. I was in the second group. Unfortunately, I wanted too much and went too fast into a chicane in sector 2. This cost me about 0.30 – 0.40 seconds, and probably the first starting row. I was fourth in my group, so I had the 7th starting position for the first race.

Race 1 (25 minutes + 1 lap) Already at 1 p.m. we took our starting positions at temperatures around 18 degrees, cloudy sky and a few rain drops. The start went well and I was already overtaking my teammate Gustav Malja in the second lap. So I was on P6. After a few laps I was able to catch up to the front and I tried to overtake. However, my overtaking was a little too optimistic. I got on the curbs with the front wheel and since these were slippery due to the partially drizzle I spun. So I lost important positions and was on P18 in the meantime. I could improve a bit and ended the race as 15th.

Qualifying for Race 2 The qualifying for the second race was set at 9.15 a.m. on Sunday. The sun shone from a blue sky, but it was again very windy. This time my group was the first for the qualifying. The first lap times were not so good because I had traffic. Soon I was on P1. This time was undercut, but in the last lap I took the first position back. Well I had to wait until the second group was finished. Since the track is usually slightly faster for the second group, I expected that the first will undercut my time. So it was, Andrea Pizzitola got pole position and I the second.

Race 2 (25 minutes + 1 lap) At 12.35 p.m. it was time. We took the starting positions for the second race. The start was good and I was able to maintain my position. An attack on P1 was not possible and I had to pay attention to my very strong followers behind. I managed to drive a controlled race and I finished as 2nd.

This was an exciting motor sport weekend and I’m very happy with my podium and the important points for the championship.

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