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Australia: An unlucky season opener for FTS

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Christian Smirnoff, Apr 14, 2012.

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    Faster Than Speed had a difficult season opener at Melbourne, Australia, with a combination of technical issues, disconnections, incidents and brake problems hampering the chances of the FTS drivers.

    Despite suffering a tough race, John-Eric Saxen took his first FTS finish in WC while Carlos Hernandez and Sami Pesari scored their maiden FTS points in WS and WT respectively.

    In the World Championship, John-Eric Saxen qualified in 15th place on his first FTS outing, with a flying lap in the dying seconds of Qualifying 1. Jaakko Mikkonen, meanwhile, qualified 21st, replacing Giuseppe Marconi. We thank Precision Motorsports for allowing Jaakko to drive the FTS-P12 in Australia.

    John-Eric had a difficult start to the race, with Eros Masciulli losing control of his car and spinning in front of him in Turn 4 on the opening lap. With nowhere to go and no time to react, John-Eric collided with the Silverline driver, damaging his FTS-P12, which required a visit to the pitlane at the end of the first lap for a new front wing. With a mountain to climb from the rear of the field, John-Eric drove a solid race, but with so much time lost on the opening lap, it was impossible to transform his strong pace into points. He saw the checkered flag for the first time driving for FTS, in 15th place.

    Jaakko, meanwhile, also drove a good race, showing strong race pace. Jaakko pulled off a good move on Puumalainen, before spending many laps stuck behind the NetRex duo of Varga and Baldi. There was a big moment as Huis exited the pits right ahead of Jaakko and Puumalainen, with the pair making minor contact, costing Jaakko 3 places. He later recovered a position from Gosbee, with a bold outside pass into Turn 11. Unable to find his way through the NetRex duo, Jaakko finished the race in 13th position, despite struggling with brake issues on the final lap.

    Jaakko Mikkonen (13th): "I was replacing Giuseppe Marconi for this race, driving for Faster Than Speed. My Qualifying was very poor. I did most of my testing on race setup and it seemed to be working OK, so I didn't worry about my starting position too much.

    Race started and Oh wow, there were cars going off everywhere! I was lucky to avoid contacts there. After a few laps I was in 11th place until the first stops. Bono (Huis) had done his first stop on lap 14 and rejoined the track in front of me. I had to brake to avoid contact with him. Puumalainen was too close behind me and hit me, damaging my car. I lost a couple of places there and a few important seconds. I continued a couple extra laps since the car wasn't too damaged and I still had fuel left. I spent those laps considering whether we should fix the damage on the pitstop. We eventually decided to fix it, which cost around 3 extra seconds. I rejoined the track on 14th place. Rest of the race wasn't very interesting. I had the pace to be on the points, but the difficulties with passing and the time I lost earlier pushed me too far behind.

    I'd like to thank Christian Smirnoff for giving me a seat for this race. Shame I couldn't score any points for the team. I won't be driving many races this season. Maybe a few more. See you later, maybe!"

    John-Eric Saxen (15th): "My season starts have traditionally been poor and this year was no exception. I was struggling a lot with slower cars ahead in Qualifying and only managed to set one decent lap time on the final attempt, which unfortunately was a few tenths off the Top 10 this time.

    In the race, my luck lasted two corners, after which Masciulli spun in front of me, leaving no room and time for reaction. After front wing repairs I was already 40 seconds behind the points battles, so I decided to drive safely and hope for retirements. Unfortunately none came, so I finished on the same position I started at.

    It was a shame I couldn't score points for Faster Than Speed on my debut, but I think the next few tracks should suit my style better, as I struggle with riding the kerbs the proper way with this car at the moment."

    In the World Series, Carlos Hernandez took his first FTS points despite having to pit for a new front wing early on in the race. He finished in 17th place. Bryan Stark's promising debut, meanwhile, ended after hitting the barriers following a small error. Alberto De Juan retired after suffering a disconnection, while Danny Lubbers had problems in the Pre-Qualifying session, which didn't allow him to pass the Top 26 cut.

    In the World Trophy, Sami Pesari overcame being an unfortunate victim of an incident which required him to pit for a new front wing plus a brake failure with several laps to go to score his maiden FTS points in 13th position. Matteo Zandona and Juan Nicola retired also victim of brake problems. Kevin Clark, meanwhile, had to pit for a new front wing after making contact with the barriers and later retired as his car was too damaged to continue. Francisco Oliveira was unable to start in the Grid 2 race due to a disconnection on the Formation Lap, while Sebastian Nicola's great expectations on making his FSR debut will have to wait until Malaysia, as he was unable to participate due to connection problems.

    Faster Than Speed now heads to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, hoping for much better luck in the second round of the 2012 FSR season. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@FTS_Racing) and Google+ for the latest news and live coverage from Malaysia!

    Faster Than Speed
    Press Release
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