Stephane Sarrazin on the podium again! The race meeting at the Eurospeedway Lausitz had a little bit of everything for Racing Engineering's drivers. In the first race Stephane Sarrazin finished third and Bas Leinders fourth. In the second race...
Stephane Sarrazin on the podium again!
The race meeting at the Eurospeedway Lausitz had a little bit of everything for Racing Engineering's drivers. In the first race Stephane Sarrazin finished third and Bas Leinders fourth. In the second race Stephane's car has been damaged in the first corner after the start and he lost all possibilities to show his competitiveness. Bas finished the second race in fifth position.
The first race showed that overtaking on the Eurospeedway Lausitz is rather difficult. Racing Engineering's drivers Stephane and Bas went into the first race in positions three and four. During the entire race the gap between the two was very close and they both managed to gain a comfortable advantage on the cars running behind them. Bas tried on various occasions to overtake Stephane, showing just how competitive he was when marking his fastest lap, which is only eight hundredths of a second off the race lap record. Due to the lack of possibilities to overtake on this track both finished the race in the same positions they started from. Stephane finished third and Bas fourth.
For the Racing Engineering squad race two made up for the lack of excitement in race one. Bas went into the race from third position and tried to overtake Karthikeyan on several occasions. In lap 4 when the Indian driver made a mistake, Bas attempted to regain his third position but Karthikeyan closed the door on him and Bas had no choice but to go off the track. This incident caused him to lose another position. With now dirty tyres Bas lacked of grip and spun in the second corner after the start-finish-line. He was able to get on the track again and fought his way up into fourth position when he came in for his obligatory pit stop in lap 16. Back on the track, Bas once again had Karthikeyan ahead of him and they both fought an exciting battle for fourth position. Bas , who didn't want to damage either his or the Indian's car didn't want to take a too big a risk on this track, which doesn't allow overtaking easily, and thus finished fifth.
Stephane had to start from tenth position due to not only having an incident with another car during Saturday's second qualifying but also an engine with decreasing performance. Racing Engineering's mechanics changed the engine on car number one yesterday evening and in race one Stephane once again showed just how fast he is and hopes were high for race two although his tenth position on the starting grid can always be a dangerous one.
And this proved to be true. In the first corner after the start, Marc Gene had a problem and spun ahead of Stephane. The Racing Engineering driver was hit by Gene's car. Stephane had to come into the pits at the end of lap one to pick up a new front wing and steering arm. Knowing that he could not fight for a good position in the race, Stephane put all his effort into marking the fastest lap in the race -- and succeeded.
After Sunday's races Bas said "Again I had a good start into the race but Karthikeyan and Kovalainen went very slow for the first three laps. When Karthikeyan made a little mistake and I tried overtaking him, he closed the door and I went on the dirt so Montagny overtook me. Just after this, I spun and went on the grass because the tyres were dirty and I had less grip. I could continue the race and overtook Siedler and was on the back of Karthikeyan. It is very difficult to overtake him here on this track and this time Nairain didn't make any. Generally I am happy that I have finished both races in the top five and was able to show my speed."
Stephane after the difficult second race and announced "I had a good start into the race day with one podium in race one. Starting tenth into the second race was problematic as there can always be crashes. But my starting position was the result of yesterday's qualifying. At the start Gene spun and crashed into me . However I made the fastest lap in the race, which means my car is good."
Racing Engineering's president, Alfonso de Orleans said "Not a bad weekend, a bit up and down, but generally not bad. Pity about Stephane's engine, or else he would have qualified much better and had a better result for the second race. But like you have all heard it many times before, that's racing. Once again, my congratulations to the great job the team is doing. They are now going to get a much deserved holiday."