Zwaan's Racing finishes 7th at Barcelona.
After a promising 9th position in qualifying the Dutch Zwaan's Racing team finished 7th after three hours of racing under the Spanish sun at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
The good and thorough preperation of the car during the winter months have given the Zwaan's Racing team a trouble free run during the practise and qualifying sessions. The modern circuit (4727 meters long) has no secrets for the three drivers of the team. Being the second fastest Viper on the grid (9th overall), the qualifying honours went to Arjan van der Zwaan.
During the second qualifying session the temperture at the track is too high to improve on the morning qualifying time. This session is used for finding a well balanced race set up. A soft set up is found that suits all three drivers. The understeer characteristic of the circuit is a problem for almost every team but Zwaan's Racing has managed to control it in a proper way. Furthermore Klaus Abbelen gets valueable time at the wheel of the car.
At 11:20 the field of 38 cars begin the three hour battle against reliability, the Spanish heat and the fears competition. A conservative approach means that Arjan van der Zwaan settles in 9th position during the first 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of his stint Arjan has to deal with cramp in his right leg. A driver change at the one hour mark means Arjan is relieved by Klaus Abbelen. From the word "go" Klaus is driving consistent laptimes, as a result the white Viper is climbing up the scoreboard. At the one hour and 50 minute mark Abbelen makes a little mistake and the white Viper ends up in the graveltrap. Two laps are lost before the car can resume the race. Abbelen: "I braked at the normal point but it was more slippery than the previous lap. I lost control of the car and several places unfortunately".
The second driver change means Rob van der Zwaan is at the wheel of the car. A dedicated Rob van der Zwaan is at the wheel for the final third hour of the race. He is pushing very hard to see if he can improve on the 7th position the car is in at that moment. The gap however to the car in 6th position is too big with minutes remaining. Rob settles for 7th position and 2 points.
Arjan van der Zwaan after the race: "Of course I would have liked to have finished further up the scoreboard but overall we have learned a lot. It is up to us now to use this information in the coming races.