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Aalberts Sees Championship Hopes Growing at Spa - GhostSpeed Belgium Review

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Pedro Rodrigues, Sep 10, 2011.

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    This past week saw the GhostSpeed drivers travel to the Belgium forests at Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix. With the teams confidence level being reasonably high after a strong weekend at Hungary, the team’s morale is growing as Mark Aalberts is closing the gap in the World Trophy Championship standings that’s set for a exciting last 4 races of the 2011 World Trophy season.

    Going into the weekend the World Trophy team saw 2 new drivers joining the team with Philipp Puschke and Caner Basol driving the GS racing car for the first time. Puschke was set for an impressive début as he qualified 3th on the grid with hard tires and Basol taking a 10th place after a mistake on his run. It was Aalberts qualifying 5th and his team mate Feddema taking a 12th place on the grid. The start of the race provided some action and drama with drivers in the background crashing into a stalled car on the grid while up front the drivers got safely through the first lap of the race.
    After 10 laps into the race it was Aalberts moving steadily up the field to a 3th place behind Kalamees and Tusting waiting until his hard tires were settling in and steadily closing in. After the pit stops of Kalamees and Tusting it was Aalberts going in the lead with a 12 second margin to 2nd place driver Tusting with 16 laps to go. Aalberts took a well calculated yet seemingly surprising strategy to stay out on track and not make a pit stop to claim victory with a 5 second lead over 2nd place finisher Ben Tusting.

    Mark Aalberts comments:
    "This was a great win, when in testing and finding out about the possible strategies I noticed that the differences between the tires were not so big and a nice surprise to find out the hard tires could hold the full race distance. In fact this year I never really liked to run on the hard tires something I always tried to avoid, yet this time these tires really seemed the best option here so I opted for a surprising strategy to try and do a 0 stopper.
    I was hoping that a lot of other drivers where making a pit stop, that way I didn’t had to battle them on track. After the stops it would mean my opponents had to drive over a second faster to get me back if they were on medium tires and even had to overtake me on track, besides an early stop could mean that they would drop back in traffic loosing extra time.
    The only risk I took was to do the qualifying on the hard tires because these tires take a couple of laps to get up to temperature so it was really though to get a good lap in. If I had mess up my run it I could be in the midfield and had to battle drivers destroying my strategy. So 5th was a good place to start with, and the race panned out as I hoped it would do. Also the first laps is always a bit risky as you have to be cautious the first laps as these Hard tires are extremely difficult to get any temperature in the tires. This was one of my better races and to win Spa with this strategy is great.
    After the Canadian GP mishap (giving away victory due to brake failure) I thought my championship hopes where trashed being over 120 points behind on the leaders, but now getting back to 55 points behind the leader with 4 races to go everything is possible. Our car is spot on now and it’s really a joy to drive it, it took us half a season to get there with the setup but it was well worth the hard work we did. I Am looking forward to the final races as there are only favorite tracks to come now and I think we are set for an very exciting season finale in the World Trophy with 4 drivers having a shot at Glory. Spa was actually the least track I wanted to drive as in general I’ve always been rather slow here so I take the positive from this victory. (smiles)”

    The GS Racing team saw both drivers finishing their races with Puschke and Basol respectively in 5th and 7th position. However there was reason for Puschke to be unhappy about his result as he was driving on the hard tires as well and was laying in 2nd position halfway through the race behind Aalberts when he decided to make an unnecessary stop as he could have finished the race without a stop giving away a certain podium finish.
    Further back it was Joona Leppaenen in the GS Pro Engineering car to finish in 11th position with another steady points finish. Tjeerd Feddema driving the GhostSpeed Racing Team car saw an unfortunate technical problem ending his race with suspension damage while laying in 8th position.
    The overall results for the World Trophy drivers where excellent and the team is setting up for an exciting finale of the season. With the team’s strength growing it will head into preparations for the Italian GP at the historical track of Monza where the stage is set for some high speed action.

    In the World Championship, Jim Parisis qualified 8th and Martin Gosbee 13th in a very close qualifying session once more. Parisis took a very careful approach towards the first corner which made him loose 3 positions but the drama stroke in the following corner when the drivers ahead had a big accident and they filled the track leaving no chance for Parisis to avoid them. Parisis car suffered several damage but he never gave up and started to recover ground and still finished 9th collecting points again. Gosbee on the other hand had a good start of the race, going up into 9th and showing a strong pace keeping up with the top8 drivers. But bad luck stroke him when a malfunction forced his car to go off track and to slam hard into the barriers ending his very promising race.

    In the World Series, it was Martin Gosbee and Morten Wernersen in the GhostSpeed’s cars. Gosbee had a good pace but an error ended his race with 8 laps to go. Wernersen made a bad start due to his long first gear but then entered in a solid rhythm that took him to a steady finish in 10th collecting some necessary points for the team.

    Written by Mark Aalberts

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