Francisco Villar (S1)
Qualy: I had great pace, and I knew that if I pulled a good lap, I would have very good chances to be on pole. I nailed it, and I got the 2 points. Miguel 2nd. 6 Portuguese in the top 10. Perfect. A good start from something that would only go downwards…
Race 1: I was chatting with Miguel in order to get a strategy to put him in front without losing any position to others, as we were faster if I was pushing. We managed it perfectly in the 1st lap, and I thought we had done enough to have a quiet solid race. Unfortunately Taulborg came back quickly enough to team up with Barrick and they did not lose the draft. We decided to pit early, to make them run in free air, but when they came out of the pits we were astonished to see they were in front of us. Good job from them. We found a way past Taulborg, but as Taulborg was using a different line, he hit me exactly when he should not have done it, sending my car to multiple rolls and wall hitting. I was beyond furious, and I don’t know how on earth I was able to continue, even though my top speed was not even 250 km/h. A rescued 6th for me, and good 2nd place for Miguel.
Race 2: Now I had Vandoorne behind, and I knew we would team up to runaway, which would be enough for me to get either a 1st or a 2nd, something I really needed as I had very strong pace. We did it in the beginning, but clearly it was not meant to be again… Even though the odds of this incident are incredibly low, Pedro was coming out of the pits and spun straight into my path, so I swerved fast to the right to avoid him, hitting the wall hard, and getting a suspension problem. I was yelling to my bad luck, as I could not believe this was happening to me, but I honestly can’t blame Pedro for that, as it was an indirect accident and he was the one who lost more with it. I REALLY appreciated the fact that he tried to press ESCAPE on time not to hit me, knowing that it would cost him a DNF and zero points. It made me think that maybe “just” hitting the wall was not that bad… Thanks for that Pedro. Well, I lost loads of speed and had a suspension problem, but fortunately I was able to sneak in behing Miguel and Barrick, and go with them. As we came out of the pits, Miguel lost some time, and I was 0,6 down on Barrick, which was enough for me to lose him, due to my suspension problem. I waited for Miguel, and in the end we got 3rd and 4th. We tried our best to make our team work perfectly, and in what concerned us, we were good enough. Thanks Miguel.
I would just like to ask the drivers to be more careful when fighting for position, as TRUST is the most important thing amongst each other if you want to have close racing, and I was still not able to gain this feeling this season, as often I am being put out without any fault.
Cheers and bring Laguna.
Miguel Neto (s1)
Qualify: I had great pace to ride alone so I knew that if i can achive a good lap i was be able to stay in front row…. The lap was good and i manage a P2 with my teammate along side me…perfect.
Race 1: I was chatting with Francisco and in our strategy i was the front car…so my first objective was achive P1 without Francisco lossing places…Great first lap and here we are P1 and P2…Perfect start of race….With a good pace Keith and Jesper follow us, so we decided to pit earlier and gain advantage…When Keith and Jesper exit the pits we are P3 and P4, but very close…
When Jesper commit an error in the last corner we have the oportunity to get P2 and P3 but after this i saw the touch beetween Jesper and Francisco… After this i battle for the win with Keith… In the final lap i defend P1 in the first corner and i exit well for the last one…Keith was on my tale and in the last corner i saw that he wasnt in possicion to overtake me because is car was completely behind mine… i follow the right line to the last corner but Keith cut the line in a last breath (forcing an impossible overtaking in my oppinion) resulting a touch of him in my rear wheel that get my car into the wall lossing all the normal exit speed……I lose P1 in the last meters of the race…Final P2.
Great result to my teammate after the incident and all the other Portugal Friends…
Race 2: Starting P7 the objective were try to catch Francisco to work again for the result…I get P3 andi was pushing by Keith to try catch Francisco and Stoffel…When Francisco lose the time to avoid Pedro we here able to get together again in the race…In the pit exit i commit a big error that cost me 2 or 3 seconds and i lose my teammate and the front runneres…Francisco wait for me to work together and we could achive P3 and P4…. Thanks to my teamamate Francisco for the hard work and congratulations to all the other Portuguese drivers.
Thanks to all the drivers and see you all in Laguna .
Pedro Amaral (S1)
Q: I knew I could draft, so this Superpole thing was my main concern. Made a good solid lap wich gave me 5th place. As I finished the lap and pressed escape, I realized I was trembling, so I was nervous as hell…
R1: Got a good start, but when trying to make a move I had to lift the throttle too much and I came to 7th. I passed Stoffel who then passed me again. I kept with him and Khan until I made a little mistake, wich almost made me lost the draft. After 2 laps a little behind I managed to get to the rear of Vandoorne again, and we were again trying to gain some time to the 4 guys ahead, wich seemed a very difficult task…
Then I think Khan touched the apron on last turn, went sideways, Vandoorme also, them me…we had a few second to the field, but when they got there 3 cars were all over the track, and the result was catastrophic.
Damage not repairable for me, and I was out and very dissapointed.
R2: I was starting on 18th, had a good start and managed to gain some positions. When I was fighting with Michael Carver for 12th or 13th on lap 4 I think, I saw him go trough the grass over the start finish line. I had a good line to try and go for the inside and I went for it. He lost some speed so I gave him a little touch on the rear, wich sent us both flying to the left exit pit wall. Sorry Michael for that…
But worst was yet to come. I lost time and my car was ruined, so as soon as I was able I went for pits to change tyres and repair the car. When I was coming out of pits, making the left turn, Francisco warns me that hes coming fast. Well, I tryed to push the car more to the inside to stay out of the way and I spun. I immediatly pressed escape, but Francisco didn’t know that, so he went to the outside and hit the wall hard, so basicly I ruined his chances to win the race.I knew he was dissapointed…sorry mate.
He helped and pushed for me the whole week during practice, so I felt terrible.
Looking ahead, I wish Laguna Seca makes me forget about this one.
Hugo Barbosa (S1)
Q. – I wasn’t much confident because had no experience at all in oval tracks, but the help from my portuguese mates during week was precious and was able to be 9th behind Taulborg and followed by portuguese Hugo Gonçalves. I was proud of the impressive display from portuguese drivers, because we were 6 on top 10 and mainly of course from Francisco Villar and Neto front row.
Race 1 – I knew that it will be all about draft, so was really focused to keep among the fastest. I made a good start and a good lap 1 so was able to rise one position to 8th, but slowly started to lost contact with the group up front, so you know, the guys behind (Caiado, Gonçalves, Yuri, Swider) catched me, I try to stay leading them but a small tap in my rear from Caiado (no worries mate) make me lost 4 positions then the huge mess cames, when Kan, Stoffel and Amaral spun out and all of us arrive there at 230 km/h. The contact was inevitable and I rolled over many times stopped in pit entrance, I was surprised that my car was working (very damaged) and entered pits. From them on just want to keep the car on the track, since the major problems affected my performance so a final 14th place.
Race 2 – Nothing special to report. In first laps I managed to climb a few positions to 11th but lost contact to previous group, so was a question to manage to keep the pace and support pressure from guys like Kan, Swidersky, Braham, lost positions for some of them but was able to overtake other so a regular 11th place.
Let’s go to Laguna Seca…
William Levesque (S2)
I’m not very lucky, same old !
Q: Quite decent, a 46.3 for 9th
R1: Got an awesome start with Butchie as my wingman, we got 4 places on the start and held it until pitstops… He forgot to confirm it so I was alone… Still 5th, following 4th place 2-3 seconds in front… As I thought I had 5th the server lagged (I’m not the only one, although some had no issues ?) and got the appron, spun and found myself parked on the outside of Turn 3-4. Stayed there waiting for an opening but unfortunately Donald came too hot in the corner and hit me, killing the car… 17th in the end
R2: Struggle at the start as the guys back seemed unfamiliared with rolling start, still was able to make a couple of positions but then drama… I was bumpdrafting Bill, eased off through Turn 3 but he slowed down more, I hitted him just a bit, no big deal fortunately but after I saw why he lift off… A Big One ! I went through there, cars everywhere, got hit, managed to point it the right way, got going again but then a car went jumping infront of me, hit it and broke the suspension ! It was a few laps before pit window so I was screwed… A bout 3/4 in Jim Eagan tried to pit but got to fast through Turn 3, went sideways and I couldn’t avoid him… Broke the car again but decided not to repair, pitted for my mandatory stop and finished 12th !
Good grief… Thanks TPS, RD, Keith, Ryan and Toby !
Ray Lilley (S2)
Not a fan of ovals, I entered the event with caution in mind.
I qualified 14th and felt a little disappointed considering the 100’s of free practice laps I have put in. 46.5xx being my best time in spite of some excellent in-car advice from Simon Kilov. Cheers Simon, that was sporting of you to offer your time and advice.
R1: The plan was simple; drive forward and keep turning left until someone tells me to stop. Great plan as I finished 8th. (And it may get better?)
R2: I clicked on Race and then… Uh-oh, I’m on pole! Oh no! DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER! Well, I never read the script for this situation so I made yet another cunning plan right there a then; drive forward and turn left until someone tells me to stop!
Knowing I have a whole bunch of faster drivers behind is not easy to deal with. Lap 1 is fine, I have that sewn up. After that it was wondering where to put myself as they come charging down on me? With 29 laps to run I was not going to make it too hard for them to pass.
Within L2-3 Glenn came bearing down the back straight and I moved over to let him through. I hoped I could hook onto the back of him and produce a space between the rest who were in battle. But, it didn’t happen. I held onto 2nd until lap 6 when Simon & Mathieu drafted pass me into the corner of 4 & 5. And, how lucky they were, too. I stayed high a little to allow them under and as I came down onto the corner to close it off a clipped the apron.
Daniel, how unlucky were you. A few more feet and you may have avoided that. So sorry! And too to Donald & Marcel close behind, and the subsequent knock on effects down field. Sorry chaps. I hit the ESC key as soon as I got out of order but the damage was done. DNF.
Once again I’m sorry for those whose race I messed up.