Chris van der Drift succeeds with fifth win this season Oschersleben, 31 August 2008 - With his fifth win this season in International Formula Master, Chris van der Drift has equalled the win record set by last years champion. The 22 year old...
Chris van der Drift succeeds with fifth win this season
Oschersleben, 31 August 2008 - With his fifth win this season in International Formula Master, Chris van der Drift has equalled the win record set by last years champion. The 22 year old New Zealander was quickest overall during the official test day prior to the weekend, followed by quickest in the Friday test sessions, achieving pole in qualifying and winning race one, leading from start to finish, with an overall margin of 9.9 seconds at the end of 21 laps. However race two proved to be a question of perseverance, after being squeezed at the start by a fellow competitor and having to take to the grass to avoid a potential collision. The Kiwi driver left the circuit with his championship lead of 13 points intact.
The New Zealander's past record at the German circuit has been impressive, and with that in mind Van der Drift began the weekend full of confidence. With the best time in the second free practice session he continued this by grabbing pole in the dying moments of the late Friday afternoon qualifying session. "On the first set of tyres I was very quick, but Fabio Leimer managed to better my time by two thousands of a second" said the runner up of last year. "But on my last flying lap though I managed to take another tenth off my time, taking my fifth pole of the season".
After a good start in Saturday's race one, Van der Drift led the entire race with the gap back to Leimer growing steadily larger, the Kiwi actually setting the fastest race lap on the 21st and last lap. "I was able to put together a number of very consistent quick laps which meant I could open up the gap back to Leimer. The car felt really good during the race and in the last lap I pushed a bit harder to see what sort of time I could still get out of it" said a self assured Van der Drift afterward.
The weekend's second race had a frustrating beginning. "My start was really good and I was able to get alongside Michael Ammermuller and Fabio Leimer. But Ammermuller turned rather aggressively to the left towards me and I took to the grass to avoid contact. In doing so I had to pull in behind him loosing any advantage my start had given me" said the kiwi. Lying in eighth position he now had his own team-mate Vladimir Arabadzhiev in front of him that he needed to pass for seventh position. Due to the tussle between the team-mates, it allowed Harald Schlegelmilch to catch the fighting duo. "As I was exiting turn three, Schlegelmilch hit me from behind, causing me to spin. I had to re-join in 11th position. It was a really crazy move from him, but despite that I still managed to gain two points by finishing in seventh. I want to thank my race team for the great car this weekend and especially my engineer Jones and my chief mechanic Diego" said Van der Drift.
Van der Drift's next round, the seventh of eight, is to be held at the Italian circuit of Imola over the weekend of 19-21 September 2008.