Chris van der Drift runner-up in International Formula Master
With a fourth and a third place in the season final of the International Formula Master at Monza in Italy, Dutchman Chris van der Drift secured himself runner-up position in the hotly-contested category that was organised for the first time this year. Third place in the final round of the season already was the seventh podium finish for the driver of the Italian JD Motorsport team this year. The Racingpool-driver won two of the 16 rounds. Nick de Bruijn (ISR), who is also a member of the Racingpool driver line-up, didn't make it to the finish in both races.
Qualifying and race 1: Only 0.186 seconds down on the fastest qualifier, Chris van der Drift was fourth in qualifying. Nick de Bruijn complained about lack of engine power and failed to do any better than 23rd. In the race, De Bruijn retired early: on the opening lap already, he was pushed off the track by an opponent, after which the race was over for him. Chris van der Drift was fighting in a group with many exciting slip stream duels. There were a few position changes in which Van der Drift dropped back to seventh, but in the closing stages of the race he recovered. As a result, he crossed the finish line in fourth place.
Chris van der Drift: "I was handicapped in the slip stream fights as the power of my engine was significantly less than that of my opponents. The difference was at least ten horsepower and that just can't be. Fortunately, I was able to fight back and recover on the final lap Nick de Bruijn: "Under braking for the corner, Isohalla was some twenty metres behind me, but he just braked far too late and just drove into my car. I was only a passenger, there was nothing I could do. Now, I am left without a result once more. I am really getting desperate
Race 2: In the second race, Van der Drift already gained one position at the start and thus he already was fourth. Nick de Bruijn had a great recovery: after the opening lap, he was already 20th and after six laps, he was in tenth place. The race provided plenty of action with a lit of slipstream battles and overtaking manoeuvres and two safety-car interventions. For a while, Nick de Bruijn was running as high as sixth, but he went into the gravel trap on lap 15 after having lost the front wing of his car. Before that, he already incurred a punctured left front tyre. After an exciting battle, Chris van der Drift crossed the finish line in third place which allowed him to round off the season with a podium finish, claiming runner-up position in the final championship standings.
Chris van der Drift: "Rounding off the season with another podium finish is great. All in all, I am very happy. I am not only runner-up in the drivers' standings, we also claimed runner-up spot with JD Motorsport in the teams' championship Nick de Bruijn: "The race was good, but unfortunately, I had a puncture and I went of the track after I had lost the front wing. Anyway, we still have learned quite a lot this weekend