Rounds 5/6, Spa-Francorchamps

EFDA Euroseries - Rounds 5/6 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium June 4,5,6 1999 Spa-Francorchamps is an amazing race circuit. It's about 4 1/2 miles long with a whole lot of passing areas. Last year Darren Malkin started back in about 12th position...

EFDA Euroseries - Rounds 5/6 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

June 4,5,6 1999

Spa-Francorchamps is an amazing race circuit. It's about 4 1/2 miles long with a whole lot of passing areas. Last year Darren Malkin started back in about 12th position and had no problem passing everyone to win the race!

The first qualifying was on Friday on a dry track. They were only given 10 laps for qualifying and with laps used for setting the tyres, then trying to find that clean lap, it didn't work for Paul Edwards this time. Each lap he tried to get his clean flying lap he managed to come up on some traffic. Paul felt the car was great and he should have been in the front, but qualified 6th for Saturday's race with a 2.27.3. He probably lost a good 1/2 second each lap because of traffic. Domingos is on pole (2.26.4) with Darren Malkin second (2.26.8).

Saturday morning is the qualifying for the second race to be held on Sunday. Paul reports that the weather is changing every five minutes! This time, qualifying was in the wet - which suits Paul fine, and he qualified in the second position - so he'll be in the front row for the second race.

Round 5 - June 5

Now, comes the first race of the weekend. Paul knows he has the race car and knows there is room on the race track to make the necessary passes to move to the front. Again, Paul makes a great start to the race and after starting in 6th place, he passed Scheckter and Van der Ende to move up to 4th spot on the 1st lap. He was now trying to overtake MacKenna, first on the inside, then the outside. MacKenna moved all the way across the track to block on both sides, hit Paul's front tyre and pushed him into the wall at 140 mph, Paul's car continued to travel across the track into the bare metal barriers (no tires - no nothing) head-on at 120 mph. The whole car was destroyed - even the wheels shattered. Paul relayed, "it was a big-big-big crash. It was happening in slow motion - heading straight for the barrier - thinking oh my God, this is it!" After the car came to a halt, he smelled fuel and the fire extinguishers had gone off, so Paul jumped out of the car, ran across the race track and over the pit wall. Paul was pretty shook up and was checked out by the medical team and they said he was ok - but he'll be hurting pretty bad.

The team has a back-up car, so Paul will still be able to start second on the grid for tomorrow's race. After Paul had some time to regroup - he's ready for tomorrow! He knew he should have had at least third place points today. He's very determined to have a good run for tomorrow. Malkin is definitely going to be a tough competitor - he's quick and he has the experience and a win at this track. The race is tomorrow at 3pm.

June 6, 1999 EFDA Euroseries - Round 6

After Paul's "big-big-big crash" yesterday, he came back for another go at the Euroseries. This time he was starting on the front row. The team worked the balance of the day yesterday setting up the back up car for Paul. Paul had a good night, his neck and back are sore, but he's ready for the day.

Incidentally, yesterday it was Domingos for the win, followed by Malkin and MacKenna.

Today it is a wet track, but possibly clearing and basically everyone started on slick tires. It was very important to guess the weather conditions to choose the correct car setup but as things change, it was pouring rain. On the start, Paul maintained his second place position for the first half of the race and he was feeling his neck and 4th gear was too long for the conditions. He was pressured by Scheckter, who got by Paul, and then Van der Ende passed also. Paul would have liked to been on the podium, but knew it was important to gain some points. Malkin had walked away with the win, trailed by Scheckter and Van der Ende, with Paul in the fourth position.

Now there's just a week before they head to Monza, Italy for rounds 7 and 8. In the meantime, Paul will be working to get his back and neck in place so he can come back strong.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Paul Edwards , Darren Malkin