F1RWRS 2014 - ROUND 7 - FRENCH GP - PAUL RICARD
PreQ - Dry
Q1 - Dry
Q2 - Light Rain
Race - Dry
PRE-QUALIFYING (drivers in bold
go into main qualifying)1. Poppy Whitechapel (GRM) -- 1.12.336
2. Jean-Luch Schiller (Prospec) -- 1.13.045 (+0.709)3. David Neuberg (Mitie) -- 1.13.254 (+0.918)
4. Ron Mignolet (Acuri) -- 1.13.343 (+1.007)5. Frank Zimmer (GRM) -- 1.13.345 (+1.009)6. David Koczo (Trueba Alitalia) -- 1.13.381 (+1.045)
7. Dave Simpson (Trueba Alitalia) -- 1.13.467 (+1.131)
8. Matthias Valsattis (Mitie) -- 1.13.549 (+1.213)
9. Andrea Acuri (Acuri) -- 1.13.840 (+1.504)
10. Gary Cameron (Prospec) -- 1.13.842 (+1.506)
11. Tomislaw Tajner (Dofasco) -- 1.14.002 (+1.666)
12. James Davies (Mecha) -- 1.14.751 (+2.415)
13. Saeed Al Faisal (Mecha) -- 1.15.419 (+3.083)
14. Sebastian Groves (Dofasco) -- 1.15.634 (+3.298)
15. Francois Albertini (Shonan) -- 1.15.645 (+3.309)
16. Miko Fakkinen (Tropico) -- 1.15.690 (+3.354)
17. Gio van Dycke (Shonan) -- 1.15.803 (+3.467)
18. Darren Older Jr (Tropico) -- 1.16.593 (+4.257)
*GRM will skip pre-qualifying at Round 8.
* Phoenix will go to Pre-qualifying at Round 8.
When Phillippe Nicolas won the opening GP of the season in Adelaide, nobody would have bet on the place we´re today; MRT had dominated most of the weekend and Mark Dagnall seemed the one and only alternative to their domination. In fact, it´s been a little bit like that during the first half of the races, except in Monaco, but most importantly, the final output has been totally different and now we´ve seen 6 different drivers for 5 different teams winning races this year so far. Yes, MRT and DGN still dominate, but the fact is they don´t get to the end of the races are regularly as Daniel Melrose and Chris Dagnall would like to, and we celebrate this happening, as the championship is very open and is not that the same cars will be at the front in Brands Hatch, but the feeling is everything can happen in races.
The race at Paul Ricard basically consisted of everyone with a chance to do something remarkbale having to retire when things looked good. We were at the heat of the fight for the win between Nicolas and Mark Dagnall when the home hero car failed miserably and left him at the side of the Mistral straight. Dagnall then would go on only to retire just 12 laps to the end of the race. He´d have scored his 2nd win of the season and with probably a large advantage over Spencer, but the thing is he didn´t and the 20 points lost here and in Monaco may hurt his championship chances.
But the leaders weren´t to suffer major heartbreak, this undoubtely happened at other garages today. First to look at is Gillet. Aurelien Moll had just gotten the lead when Dagnall retired when his GNB failed too. Another to have suffered is Phoenix McAllister. He was driving a great race and already in the points when his car failed. He was running at that moment in front of Shinobu Katayama, who finished 2nd in the end. Both Kamahas had a good chance today of scoring, but they again failed, and the last, but not least, driving an amazing race until she retired was Poppy Whitechapel. She was beating Frank Zimmer comfortably and into the points but in the end nothing came out of her fantastic performance.
The large number of retirements (many of them becoming soon), meant we lived an amazingly boring race in terms overtaking considering the huge ammount of things happening in and around. Only the 4 way fight during the last quarter of the race between Zimmer, Bosevic, Davies and Koczo made the end of the race a little bit entertaining. In fact, Zimmer drove a great race. Having started last, he wasn´t that good either in the first half, but then he seemed to wake up and kept a beautiful fight with Bosevic, first being passed by the Arrowtech and then recovering a few laps from the end. The GRM is not very fast but he´s there when the opportunity arises.
To finish, and going back into the Top 3, Melrose and Katayama simply drove their cars to the end without much hassle and the sheer ammount of unreliability favoured them, but the key to Douglas Mann success was an excellent start. He then was able to fight head to head with Moll and Mori at the beggining of the race and kept trying so that in the end he was the only car remaining from the points places at the beggining. It was a very good drive and a remarkable win for a team which desperately need the points in order to avoid embarrasing moments again. It was the feel-good moment of the weekend... but what about our ROTR? Well, nobody did badly enough to earn it, except for Kay Lon, apparently partying too hard after he retired. He brought the sport to an awful image and from a driver who claims to be "Best in the world", it wasn´t the most apropiate behaviour. The F1RWRS has handed him a warning (two being a two race suspension) and the ROTR rounds his weekend. He should be a bit more supportive having in count Katayama´s performance.
The frightening moment of the weekend with Watkinson´s car launching into the air after hitting De Bock at the back:
Fastest lap: Phillippe Nicolas - 1.13.248
ROTR: Kay Lon - Another DNF, got into a scandal when the race was going on and was handed a warning. Not a good weekend.
STANDINGS (After 7 races)
1. Mark Dagnall - 28 pts
2. Nathanael Spencer - 20 pts
3. Shinobu Katayama - 15 pts
=. Daniel Melrose - 15 pts
5. Nicolas Steele - 14 pts
6. Thomas de Bock - 13 pts
=. Douglas Mann - 13 pts
8. Sammy Jones - 12 pts
9. Phillippe Nicolas - 10 pts
10. Aurelien Moll - 8 pts
=. Frank Zimmer - 8 pts
12. Mirko Bosevic - 7 pts
13. Barii Mori - 6 pts
14. Rhys Davies - 4 pts
15. Ron Mignolet - 3 pts
16. Ashley Watkinson - 2 pts
17. Jesus Plaza - 1 pt
=. Daniel Martins - 1 pt
=. Ben Fleet - 1 pt
1. MRT - 30 pts
2. DGNgineering - 29 pts
3. Jones - 27 pts
4. Gillet - 21 pts
5. Kamaha - 20 pts
6. Sunshine - 15 pts
7. Foxdale - 13 pts
8. Arrowtech - 8 pts
=. GRM - 8 pts
10. HRT - 6 pts
11. Acuri - 3 pts
12. ARC - 1 pt