Gutierrez Gets on the Podium and Surprises in his Formula Master Debut
Imola, Italy -- Mexican driver, Esteban Manuel Gutierrez Gutierrez, keeps surprising in international auto racing, by starting his debut in Formula Master on the right foot. Gutierrez was invited this weekend to the event in Imola by Italian team Trident Racing, which also has a team in the GP2 series, to allow the driver from Monterrey to see them in action, and at the same time to let him test the Formula Master automobile, Which apparently will be acquired for the new GP3 series for the 2009 season.
During the first practice yesterday the Aztec driver ended in fifth place. Later, for the second practice of the day, he was faster by one second. At the end of the day Gutierrez was able to qualify in an excellent fifth place, registering his best lap with a time of 1:39.938 in the historic Enzo e Dino Ferrari race track which is 4.9 km long.
Esteban has taken the maximum advantage of this new experience, for the car, the team and the circuit were totally new to him. The Mexican driver has proven once again that he has the talent to adapt very quickly to new challenges, and demonstrated it once more by reaching the podium in his debut and taking an excellent third place of the 21 drivers that competed today.
"I arrived to Imola without many expectations that we could do well from the beginning. I knew that I would face two great challenges, one, learning the track and two, racing in a car that was completely new to me. The first approach was very good for I felt really good with the car and the team. After I got in the car I started to discover the limits, lap after lap. I didn't have much luck in qualifying, but at the moment of the start of the race I was able to do really well and overtake two positions and place myself in third place. I was very surprised because it was my first start with a steering-wheel controlled clutch. The tips that the engineers gave me were very valuable. I am also very glad I didn't have problems with my physical preparation, I felt very well. The only setback I had was at the end of the race' when I was behind Cris Vand Der Drit and saw that the yellow flag was out. In Formula BMW races, if the drivers don't reduce their speed they are penalized. Here they aren't so strict in that aspect. When I saw the yellow flags I reduced my speed and lost three seconds. That is one of the many things I've learned this weekend, but in the end I have to thank my team for their great work. A third place is excellent, and I'm sure I haven't reached the limits of the car. I think that I can be much faster. My objective now is to keep learning of the new experience," Esteban commented.