FSR Race Preview – Round 11
FSR returns back to action after a 3 week break at Nürburgring, where round 11 of the 2012 season will be carried out the upcoming weekend. After dominating the beginning part of the season, Bono Huis has seen his championship lead narrow down to 22 points, as Morgan Morand has won 3 out of the 3 last races. Behind the top 2, Tali has strengthened his position as championship third, although youngster Jeffery Rietveld is only 12 points away, having scored his first pole and a podium at Monza.
To follow the events live, tune in for Simrace.TV, starting with World Trophy at Saturday 13:30 GMT, followed by World Series at Saturday 19:30 GMT and the FSR Thrustmaster World Championship on Sunday, starting at 15:30 GMT. Read the full preview for the expert analysis and remember to update your teams in the FSR Fantasy League.
followed by World Series at Saturday19:30 GMT and the FSR Thrustmaster World Championship on Sunday, starting at 15:30 GMT. Read the full preview for the expert analysis and remember to update your teams in the FSR Fantasy League.
Length: 5.184 km
Race distance: 60 laps / 308.176km
Number of corners: 19 (right: 9, left: 10)
Longest flat-out section: 800m / 12 seconds
Full throttle: 63%
Tyre wear: High
Engine wear: Medium
Brake wear: Medium
Lap record: Dennis Hirrle 1:26.529 (2005)
2011 Bono Huis
2009 Dennis Hirrle
2007 Roy Kolbe
2006 David Greco
2005 Dennis Hirrle
2004 Yannick Lapchin
2003 Joshua Lyon
2002 Joshua Lyon
2001 Roy Kolbe
The seaon is approaching its last quarter, with 5 races left to go. Based on the last couple of races, the championship might go down to the wire between Huis and Morand, would you agree?
Indeed, this would be the first time since the early days of FSR that a world championship battle might go all the way to the final race. This is a welcome change, as in the past 4 years there has been little excitement left for the final rounds. In many ways, Morand has an ideal position as the chaser. At this point, the Frenchman has nothing to lose but everything to win. With Huis, the situation is exactly the opposite. Having lead the championship by as much as 67 points after Hungaroring, the lead is now down to 22 points. It would no doubt be a bitter blow both for Huis and Precision if the tables turned around and Morand would end up on top at the end. Especially considering the way Huis and Precision dominated the series in both 2010 and 2011. But as we know, staying at the top is harder than getting there.
It sounds like you have jumped on the Morand bandwagon, is that so?
No, definitely not. At the end of the day, the best man wins. And whoever that is, deserves to win. To be honest, I think Huis is still clearly the more complete driver of those two, but that is just my personal opinion. Huis has shown that he is capable of driving any type of car, be it understeering or oversteering, under any condition. Over the last three years, FSR has used very different type of mod physics and Huis has been quick with them all. That tells a lot. Anyway, one has to acknowledge the championship dynamics. Currently, Morand has the momentum on his side. It is up to Huis to regain that momentum, preferably as soon as possible in order to keep ahead. For that he needs a win.
Let’s reflect a bit on the venue of the weekend: Nürburgring. This is not the ideal circuit for overtaking, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes, overall not the most spectator-friendly circuit. Overtaking will be extremely difficult with the high downforce levels and requires a mistake from the car ahead, or a substantially quicker car. For the driver, the circuit has a couple of challenging sections, in particular turns 10 and 11, which lead to the long backstraight. Apart from this, the corners are mainly slow and somewhat uninspiring in my view, especially the beginning “stadium” section. Still, the circuit puts a rather high demand on the driver and the car setup. Typically, drivers are battling with heavy understeer in the long and slow corners. A car with a good front end is definitely a must, but exits are important too, especially in the final sector.
What will be the race deciders and who are the favourites for this round?
Qualifying will again be extremely important, as will the first couple of corners, which are somewhat incident-prone. In the race, drivers have the window to pit 3 or 4 times, which will add to the interest. Pit stop execution, timing and in- and out-laps will be important as ever. As we have seen in the last couple of rounds, Huis has been able to overtake at the closing stages thanks to a shorter final stint. Regarding the favourites, unsurprisingly I expect the battle for the win to be between Morand and Huis. Still, I hope that an outside driver could spice things up a bit. Rietveld and Tali are such potential drivers. Patrick De Wit seems to have the pace, but the question remains if the Dutch can finally pull a weekend together without facing some sort of an issue. Finally, Jack Keithley is a driver not to forget, as the Briton has shown stunning pace whenever he has had the option to drive WC for Precision.
1. Bono Huis
2. Morgan Morand
3. Jeffrey Rietveld
4. Rasmus Tali
5. Jack Keithley
6. Jim Parisis
7. Patrick De Wit
8. Georgo Baldi
9. John-Eric Saxen
10. Petar Brljak
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