CARLO VAN DAM ENDS EUROCUP FORMULA RENAULT 2.0 IN THIRD PLACE! BARCELONA, 29 OCTOBER 2006 -- Carlo van Dam left the Barcelona circuit this afternoon with his head erect, after finishing third in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The SG Formula ...
CARLO VAN DAM ENDS EUROCUP FORMULA RENAULT 2.0 IN THIRD PLACE!
BARCELONA, 29 OCTOBER 2006 -- Carlo van Dam left the Barcelona circuit this afternoon with his head erect, after finishing third in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The SG Formula driver, who started the races just three points behind the leader, did not have luck on his side during the qualifying sessions and the races. The S-T-A-R-T driver finished fifth in the first race, but was given a 25 seconds penalty after the chequered flag had been shown. As a result he lost several valuable points for the championship. In the final race Van Dam came home in seventh place and therefore finished the championship in third position. In fourteen races Van Dam collected a total of 90 points and finished second in the team standings with the SG Formula team.
FREE PRACTICES + QUALIFICATIONS:
On Friday Van Dam took on some used tyres to get acquainted with the 4.727 meter long track and tried several different set-ups. Van Dam worked together very close with his French team mates Alexandre Marsoin and Tom Dillmann during the two and a half hours of free practice sessions and found a fine set up for the important qualifications. In the first free practice he finished in eighth position, while he clocked the fourth time in the final free practice. During the qualification sessions on Saturday morning Van Dam went out on the track with a new set of tyres, but went off the track during his flying lap. The team managed to replace the undertray in a record time, but he had to settle with fourth place on the grid for race one. With a new set of rubber Van Dam went out again to set a fast time, but he immediately lost tyre pressure in his first laps. Because of the puncture his second-best time meant he would be in sixth place for the second race.
RACE 01 + 02:
In the first race Van Dam did not have a good start. The 20-year old driver lost two places thanks to a kamikaze move by his clo se rivals Dani Clos and Chris van der Drift, but fought himself back to fifth place one lap later. After Van Dam managed to pass Van der Drift in his sixth lap, he closed the gap to Bertrand Baguette very quickly. Van Dam put in fast lap times and even set the fastest lap of the race in his eleventh lap. With this he gained on extra championship point. After sixteen laps Van Dam crossed the finish line in fifth place. It appeared that he would add 6 more championship points to his total, until race control decided to give him a 25 seconds time penalty. The organisers were of opinion that Van Dam set his fastest time during a yellow flag situation.
A come-down for the number 6 driver who saw a possible Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title disappear like snow before the sun. In the second race Van Dam did have a good start. He was able to advance to the front, until Van der Drift tried to push him out of the way. During the race he tried to get back to the front, but after 27 minutes of racing he ended the day in seventh position. With a glorious victory, 5 podium finishes and 2 pole positions on his account Van Dam said goodbye of his European adventures in the Formula Renault 2.0. In the next couple of months he will be doing a lot of tests. In 2007 Van Dam hopes to be on the grid of another inviting international championship!
CARLO VAN DAM: "The speed was there this weekend, but I had a lot of bad luck during the qualifying sessions. First I went off the track and then halfway the session I also got a puncture. When my points were taken away in the first race after a drive through penalty I had no illusion about taking the championship anymore. The gap to the leader was already too big. I did however proof to be the strongest of the field this year. After a difficult start the races at Donington Park, halfway the season, turned out to be the turning point of the season. I collected a lot of points and was really fighting for the championship. This is mainly thanks to my engineer, which whom it w as very nice to work with. Furthermore I would like to thank the whole team of Stephane Guerin a lot. I have learned a lot from them and we were a strong group. We have had two fantastic years together! And finally I would like to thank my loyal sponsors and my companions at S-T-A-R-T. They have always been there for me and we will continue together when we make a step up the ladder in 2007!"