F1RWRS 2014 - ROUND 4 - MEXICAN GP - Hermanos Rodriguez
PREQ: Light Rain
Q1: Light Rain
PRE-QUALIFYING (drivers in bold
go into qualifying)1. Phoenix McAllister (Phoenix) -- 1.28.317
2. Ron Mignolet (Acuri) -- 1.28.776 (+0.459)
3. Tomislaw Tajner (Dofasco) -- 1.28.933 (+0.616)
4. Giovanni Roda (Trueba) -- 1.29.450 (+1.133)5. Andrea Acuri (Acuri) -- 1.29.514 (+1.197)
6. Gary Cameron (Prospec) -- 1.29.684 (+1.367)
7. Jean Luc Schiller (Prospec) -- 1.29.820 (+1.503)8. Sebastian Groves (Dofasco) -- 1.29.820 (+1.503)
9. The Stig (Phoenix) -- 1.29.982 (+1.665)
10. Matthias Valsattis (Mitie) -- 1.29.983 (+1.666)
11. Jason Van Dycke (Shonan) -- 1. 31.236 (+2.919)
12. Francois Albertini (Shonan) -- 1.31.448 (+3.131)
13. James Davies (Mecha) -- 1.31.571 (+3.254)
14. Saeed Al Faisal (Mecha) -- 1.31.822 (+3.505)
15. Miko Fakkinen (Tropico) -- 1.32.025 (+3.708)
16. Fredo Mestolio (Trueba) -- 1.32.036 (+3.719)
17. Stephen Mackintosh (Mitie) -- 1.32.114 (+3.797)
18. Darren Older Jr (Tropico) -- 1.36.085 (+7.768)
** Phoenix to skip Pre-Qualifying at Round 5.
*** Jones will have to Pre-Qualify at Round 5
It seemed like a repetition of the Brazilian race at the beggining: Spencer dominating from the start and Dagnall losing time against Nicolas for a while, only this time Scott also seemed to get into the equation, only for his DGN to fail in lap 4, leaving Nicolas all alone in contention for 3rd place as Dagnall and Spencer went on another head to head for the win. Dagnall seemed faster in the first part of the race, but once the first round of stops happened, Spencer opened the gap once again. He´d have won if the MRT lasted, seeing as Dagnall had to pit once again to repair a faulty wheel. He´s been lucky so far, as most of his car troubles were solved in time, meaning he´s leading the championship.
It´s hard to tell whether Moll or de Bock will aim for the title yet. While the car seems quite reliable and consistent, they haven´t been able to match DGN´s and MRT´s yet. It shouldn´t matter much, as Mark Dagnall was able to snap the title that way last year. As for Kamaha, what was a huge surprise with Steele stepping into the podium in Brazil has turned now into discomfort by rival teams as they see a new potential winner when the top two fail to finish. Mori drove an excellent race and finished 2nd on its own merit. It may have been left Kay Lon asking himself why he switched cars last year, given Sunshine´s current state of form. The German paid for a heavy car in the beggining, only to retire when he had points positions close once his strategy paid off.
The other team Lon raced for last year, Jones, had a terrible weekend. Both drivers retiring with mechanical issues one year after that brilliant win, and the PreQualifying awaiting for them once again for next round. It really felt like going backwards and for that reason they´re awarded our ROTR. The other team which seemed to reverse their luck for this weekend (but the positive way), were Foxdale. The recent engine update paid off this time and Mann ended the race a solid 4th, while we´ve seen the most consistent Christopherson of the season so far. The veteran seems to be slowly finding his way into F1RWRS.
We have spoken a lot about Mignolet being our discovery of the season and he kept on demonstrating why. Having been able to outqualify Andrea Acuri once again, his race seemed totally destroyed when he was totally unable to get past Kay Lon during the first stint thanks to the Acuri´s lack of top speed. That, and the fact he found himself behind all of his rivals for points, the Belgian drove a fantastic second half of the race and got past everybody in his league to score another point. Amazing drive. He took advantage of Bosevic retirement. It´s not the first time it happens to him this season but he should be able to start scoring soon.
The other remarkable words should go to Dofasco. While their drivers are not enjoying top equipment, they were able to shine in the wet and then qualify one of the cars for the Sunday race. This experience will be positive to them and they might have increased their confidence a lot for next round.
All in all, despite we didn´t see a good fight for positions at the top of the field, drivers in the middle kept the race alive. Now that Pay Drivers must deposit a first ammount of money into team´s bank accounts before next weekend, it´ll be interesting to check how it works out.
FASTEST LAP: Mark Dagnall -- 1.24.847
ROTR: Jones - Dismal weekend one year after brilliant debut: Two retirements and mediocre qualifying means they´ll have to go to PreQ.
STANDINGS (After 4 Rounds)
1. Mark Dagnall - 22 pts
2. Thomas de Bock - 13 pts
3. Phillippe Nicolas - 10 pts
=. Nathanael Spencer - 10 pts
5. Shinobu Katayama - 9 pts
6. Daniel Melrose - 8 pts
7. Barii Mori - 6 pts
8. Nicolas Steele - 4 pts
=. Aurelien Moll - 4 pts
10. Frank Zimmer - 3 pts
=. Rhys Davies - 3 pts
=. Douglas Mann - 3 pts
=. Ron Mignolet - 2 pts
14. Ashley Watkinson - 2 pts
=. Sammy Jones - 2 pts
16. Jesus Plaza - 1 pt
=. Daniel Martins - 1 pt
1. DGNgineering - 22 pts
2. MRT - 20 pts
3. Gillet - 17 pts
4. Jones - 10 pts
=. Kamaha - 10 pts
6. Sunshine - 9 pts
7. HRT - 5 pts
8. GRM - 3 pts
=. Acuri - 3 pts
=. Foxdale - 3 pts
11. ARC - 1 pt
=. Arrowtech - 1 pt