Formula BMW Pacific at the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix Formula One Road Course Once again Atlantic Racing Team (ART) of Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada, played an important role in the 12th and 13th Formula BMW Pacific Rounds. With ART's youngest...
Formula BMW Pacific at the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix Formula One Road Course
Once again Atlantic Racing Team (ART) of Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada, played an important role in the 12th and 13th Formula BMW Pacific Rounds. With ART's youngest driver Gabby Chaves (15) of Columbia, the team propelled itself to the forefront in it's single qualifying effort for the two races at the first and newest F1 night course through the historic Singapore Downtown area. A fourth and fifth starting place was secured by Gabby even though the vitally important 20-minute qualifying session was interrupted due to a malfunctioning ignition harness on his car. Gabby lost two preciously important laps but as he said "it's racing and we have to get on with our performances".
Saturday's start was not as good as the team would have liked to see and consequently Gabby went into Turn One in a very difficult position - right between his two most important points and podium chasers. A slight knock on the right front wheel of his car from one of the fellow competitor meant a 180 degree spin and Gabby had to wait, until all other cars passed him, to return to the right direction. Then his chase began - and what a drive he put on; until in lap 6 the fire extinguisher went off, for no reason, which meant that Gabby was soaked in fluids and his vision was impaired. But thanks to Gabby's excellent "under stressful circumstances" performance, and a couple errors by some other drivers, ART's car ended up in a well-deserved 8th place.
Sunday would be a day of reckoning. Having seen what could be done here in Singapore, the Atlantic Racing Team's crew was eager to show that this car and it's setup was the one to beat. Starting from 5th place Gabby right away made it clear to all the competitors that he would not be held prisoner and showed from the green light onwards that he would not be satisfied without a podium place. Lap One showed him in P3 and from then onwards it was just a cat and mouse game - trying to get closer to P2 while contending with pressure from the P4 Japanese driver, R. Nara - and Gabby was able to secure a third-place podium finish.
Finishing times between the first driver and Gabby were a mere 7 seconds after the 10 lap, 50 km race, conducted in 38 C heat under sunny skies, but with lots of towering clouds warning of coming thunderstorms.
Gabby Chaves and Atlantic Racing Team, after 13 races so far, sit in 6th position in both the driver and team standings. "With the Formula One Shanghai's 14th and 15th race rounds as well as the final and 16th race at the Macau Grand Prix, both in China", says Ingo Strackerjan, Team Owner, "Atlantic Racing Team and Gabby will have a good chance of ending our first Pacific race year on a very high note. It is quite hard for the driver and engineer to find the right set up within the short allowable times during a F1 event, especially for us this year with only having one car on the grid. All other teams have at least two if not 4 cars and drivers. The accumulation of Data and driver inputs are crucial, therefore so more drivers you have so more data comes to you. But, and especially for the foregoing reasons I think that drivers from all over the world are now recognize us more than ever before as one of the top teams. Our plan is to grow in this vibrant area to 3 cars next year. We're already planning test sessions for potential drivers in Sepang, Malaysia, as well as here in Canada until the weather becomes too cold. We have cars available for testing in Canada and in Sepang."