Chris van der Drift with points at Monaco
Chris van der Drift competed in this weekend's World Series by Renault event in the princedom of Monaco, the 23 year old Kiwi debuting on the famous street circuit and racing in the support program to the annual FIA Formula 1 event. The weekend comprised one race that the International Formula Master champion of 2008 finished in seventh position.
This weekend for the drivers and teams is the only one in the year where the normal format of the World Series by Renault race weekend differed, the program being modified to one race of 25 laps without pit stops. On Thursday the collective test session was held where the New Zealander completed 25 laps achieving a time that was better than his experienced Epsilon Euskadi team-mate Adrian Valles.
Qualifying on Saturday commenced by splitting the drivers into two groups, Van der Drift allocated to the second group starting at 9.30am in the morning. The Kiwi ultimately achieved the fifth fastest qualifying time overall good for a grid 9 start the following day. However the Kiwi was hardly satisfied. But he had to take some pleasure as he was very close to his team-mate. "We need to tackle qualifying differently said Van der Drift.
The start of the race on Sunday was scheduled just before the Formula 1 race on the program. Van der Drift started well, and particularly in the first few corners it was very frantic. "I got away better than my team-mate, but he was on my right and I had to brake to avoid going into the wall. After the first corner I got past him, however another driver had passed both of us while all this was happening so I was still in 9th position", explained the Kiwi. The Epsilon Euskadi driver was able to maintain contact with the car in front, but it proved virtually impossible to successfully pass on the street circuit. Through two competitors in front of the Kiwi not finishing, Van der Drift ultimately finished in seventh place.
"The speed was fortunately good, only the race was a bit boring as it was not possible to make a pass", said Van der Drift. "But having said that, it was fantastic to be able to race here for the first time. The unique atmosphere, racing in the support program to Formula 1, and the public attending, just makes the picture complete. I'm already looking forward to continuing my World Series by Renault journey at Hungary. Hopefully we can improve our qualifying pace so that we can score some better points. I would like to thank my team Epsilon Euskadi for the fantastic opportunity this weekend. They did a terrific job !".
The following World Series of Renault races are scheduled for the weekend of 12 to 14 June at the Hungaroring in Hungary.