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China: John-Eric scores his first FTS points with a strong drive to 5th

Discussion in 'Formula SimRacing' started by Christian Smirnoff, May 12, 2012.

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    John-Eric Saxen scored his first FTS points and Faster Than Speed's first WC points of the season with a very solid drive to 5th place in the Chinese GP at Shanghai.

    Kevin Clark and Sami Pesari also scored points for the team in the WT division, while Carlos Hernandez and Danny Lubbers completed a 1-2 finish in the WS Grid 2 race after a tough Pre-Qualifying.

    In the World Championship, John-Eric Saxen drove a great lap in Q1 to set the 5th fastest time and guarantee himself a place on the top-ten session. In Q2, he was 9th quickest. Team-mate Giuseppe Marconi, meanwhile, struggled with technical issues on his steering wheel as he qualified 21st.

    John-Eric lost a few places at the start, dropping to 11th, position he would keep throughout the whole first stint. After making the great call of stopping a lap earlier than planned to avoid losing time behind Brljak, John-Eric emerged from the pits in clear air and moved up to an impressive 4th place, closing in to 3rd-placed Mikkonen.

    After his second stop, John-Eric lost time behind Gobbi who was yet to pit, losing touch with Mikkonen and finding himself under attack from Baldi. Running into traffic again proved costly after his third stop, as he lost the position to Baldi, who pitted a lap later, despite overtaking Van der Linden. John-Eric repassed Baldi into the hairpin after a small mistake from the Hungarian, but the NetRex driver retook the position with an agressive move the following lap. Managing the gap to Lapchin behind, John-Eric finished a strong race in 5th position, scoring his first 10 points for FTS and the team's maiden WC points of the year.

    Giuseppe had a tough race as he had to deal with both sterring wheel and engine issues, plus damage sustained in his car as he was unable to avoid Kostadinov's car which was across the track after a collission with Nilsson in the opening lap. While Giuseppe was frustrated with the problems that didn't allow him to show the solid pace he had in testing, he still nursed the car home in 18th position to take his first finish of the season.

    John-Eric Saxen (5th): "I'm very happy with this result, first points for FTS were long overdue! I had a solid Q1 lap and the Q2 lap began very well, but the race setup didn't feel as stable as the setup I used for Q1 and a few mistakes cost me a couple of positions, hence 9th place on grid.
    During the start I again had latency issues and I lost 2 positions. With overtaking in the queue being nearly impossible, I made a calculated risk to pit one lap earlier than what my fuel allowed. This worked swiftly and suddenly I found myself in P4, just a couple of seconds behind Mikkonen.

    In the remaining race I had to compromise somewhat because of my earlier first pitstop. I was able to keep Baldi behind until the final pitstops where he jumped me. Later he made a mistake making it easy for me to re-pass. The next lap we were alongside in turn 6, unfortunately I had no room and was forced wide over the kerb. I think the move was a bit against the rules, but I take it as a lack of experience from the driver, so I feel no need to protest it this time.

    In the final laps I was a bit worried about Lapchin, but luckily he made a couple of mistakes which made it easy enough for me to finish 5th. Overall this was almost an optimal result, minus the one place lost, so this definitely increased my confidence after a difficult start to the season."

    Giuseppe Marconi (18th): "Before today I was confident that I could do better here. Today it was another terrible day for me, and not only as a driver. I had great trouble with my downshifting paddle all day, causing me to be probably a second away from my personal best in Q1. However, my position could have only been better by 1 or 2 positions.

    The race started very well, I gained 7 positions in first lap with some good battles. But some contact damaged my car. My pace wasn't there, about 0.5s away from Practice times, probably due to the damage and paddle troubles. I often had to drive Turns 3 and 11 in 5th gear, so I was losing a lot on corner exit. At the first pitstop I lost 9 seconds to repair some damage but the car remained damaged throughout the race. Second and third stints were similar to the first one so I lost a few positions. After the third stop I was 5 seconds behind the 17th-placed driver and with little engine life left, so I decided to drive easily, saving my engine and waiting for the finish."

    In the World Series Grid 1 race, Martin Gosbee, now driving for GhostSpeed Racing, made a one-off FTS comeback. He unfortunately retired early after qualifying strongly. Carlos Hernandez and Danny Lubbers, meanwhile, endured a difficult Pre-Qualifying session, missing the cut and having to settle for the Grid 2 race. Their performance, however, definitely made up for their disappointment, as they dominated the race to take a 1-2 finish, with Carlos driving a faultless race to win, while Danny overcame fuel and engine issues to still take 2nd place.

    In the World Trophy, Kevin Clark drove a strong race, recovering from a bad start and a small error halfway through the race to take his best finish to date in 12th position. Sami Pesari, meanwhile, unfortunately suffered an engine failure on the final lap of the race when he was 11th after a very solid drive. He was still classified a lap down in 14th place, scoring some valuable points.

    Faster Than Speed now heads to twisty streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco, for the fourth round of the FSR season. FTS has good memories from the Principality, where last year Patrick De Wit took his FTS car to Pole Position and a podium in WC, repeating his race result of 2007. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@FTS_Racing) and Google+ for the latest news and live coverage from Monaco!

    Faster Than Speed
    Press Release