Jan Charouz targets strong Imola performance He was the first driver to announce his Auto GP commitment, and in Brno Jan Charouz showed everybody that it was the right choice. The Czech driver finished both races in the points, showing both ...
Jan Charouz targets strong Imola performance
He was the first driver to announce his Auto GP commitment, and in Brno Jan Charouz showed everybody that it was the right choice. The Czech driver finished both races in the points, showing both performance and consistency. Thanks to this, is now fourth in the championship standings, tied with Zaugg and Onidi, and he has high aims for the nexts events. Looking back at Brno, Jan can be particularly happy of the first race, because he clinched a 4th place finish starting from fifth row. It was a great recovery, built with a perfect start in the mayhem caused by Reid's stalled car and then with a faultless race.
Despite this Jan (who is racing in Renault F.1 livery being one of the French team's reserve drivers) isn't fully satisfied. "The weekend as a whole was good, but to be honest I was expecting something more. Brno was my home race and getting on the podium there would have been very important for me. Anyway getting points in both races was good for the championship, and I know that there is still room for improvement. The team is completely new, so we will get better race after race". Thinking about the car's performance, Charouz already knows what was missing in Brno: "The main issue was understeer. The track changed a lot from Thursday to Sunday, and with higher track temperature we had too much understeer. We were struggling with it in qualifying and in the races, and this slowed us a bit".
Even with some set-up woes, Charouz is very positive about the Auto GP Lola-Zytek: "Thinking about it, the first thing that comes to mind is brute force. It's an 'old-style' car, that has to be driven with the throttle. Compared to the car I'm driving in the Ws by Renault championship, it's completely different: there you can brake later because you have carbon brakes and in the corners there's more grip, but Auto GP closes the gap with 100 bhp more, and that's why in the end the laptimes of the two cars are nearly identical. They get the same result, but with two very different philosophies, and while the Lola isn't what you'd call a 'precision tool', it's tremendously effective anyway and really very fun to drive".
Unlike many other Auto GP drivers, Charouz already raced in Imola. In 2005 he took part in the F3000 event, and finished the race in 5th place after a good recovery. Here are his memories: "Imola is a great track, even if a lot of time has passed I remember that I liked it a lot. Two spots were really impressive: the first braking zone, because it's after a long full throttle part, so you are approaching the corner really fast, and the 'Acque Minerali' chicane: it goes downhill and then uphill immediately, it's very challenging".