Chris van der Drift gains valuable series points in Turkey Istanbul 18 June 2006 - Kiwi driver Chris van der Drift competed in the third and fourth rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship this weekend in Istanbul, Turkey. While it...
Chris van der Drift gains valuable series points in Turkey
Istanbul 18 June 2006 - Kiwi driver Chris van der Drift competed in the third and fourth rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship this weekend in Istanbul, Turkey. While it proved to be a difficult weekend, he nevertheless scored important points for the championship reducing the gap to the championship leader to thirteen points.
After four test sessions, two each on Thursday and Friday, by Friday evening the team was confident with the progress made. These tests were then followed by one qualifying session on Saturday morning. In qualifying, Van der Drift however had some problems with the set-up of his race car for the track conditions, resulting in qualifying in 7th position for both the weekends' races. That the Eurocup Championship is extremely competitive is shown by the fact that no less than 19 drivers were within 1 second of the fastest time. Van der Drift was just 0.368 of a second short of pole-position.
After the podium finish in the previous Eurocup event held at Zolder, the New Zealander had the same goal this weekend. Starting from seventh position in race 1 late on Saturday afternoon Van der Drift grabbed 2 positions to be in fifth position at the end of lap one. After a number of laps he was able to pass fellow New Zealander Brendan Hartley for fourth but soon after this experienced blistering on his left rear tyre dropping him back to 9th position. This problem hampered his progress leaving him to cross the finish line eventually in eighth.
In the second race held on Sunday morning, Van der Drift had a good start and was quickly in sixth position, followed shortly by a pass on Filipe Albuquerque to give him fifth position. Back in the field however two cars came together resulting in a safety car period while the damaged cars were removed. With the safety car off the circuit, Van der Drift grabbed the opportunity at the re-start to pass team-mate Kasper Andersen for fourth position, a position that did not change for the rest of the race.
Chris van der Drift: "The weekend was OK, but it can always be better. I have scored points in both races and that is better than nothing! In qualifying we had some set-up issues which meant I had to start both races on grid seven. In the first race I got blisters on my left rear tyre, which meant my car was difficult to steer. I lost five places, but gained one back to finish eighth. I had such a good start and everything went very well, so a podium had been perhaps possible. The start of the second race was also good and I was able to get up to fourth after passing Kasper, but I couldn't do any more. I want to thank my team for the hard work and I am already looking forward to the next race weekend. The lead in the championship is now 13 points away, so who knows ?"
The next events on Van der Drift's race calendar are : 30 June - 2 July at Motopark Oschersleben, Germany, for the ninth and tenth rounds of the Northern European Formula Renault Championship, & 13 July -- 16 July at Misano, Italy, for the fifth & sixth rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault Championship.
Chris van der Drift drives for the Italian race-team JD Motorsport, based in Vespolate west of Milano in Italy.