Blistering Imola heat tests Klenke and Jaeger to the maximum IMOLA, May 28th, 2005-- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport experienced a difficult qualifying in the blistering Italian heat prior to the fourth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Blistering Imola heat tests Klenke and Jaeger to the maximum
IMOLA, May 28th, 2005-- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport experienced a difficult qualifying in the blistering Italian heat prior to the fourth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. With track temperatures rising up to 52C, both the drivers and the tyres on the Ford Focus RS WTCC were tested to the maximum.
Thomas Klenke managed to improve his lap times in each of his three outings. However, in his last attempt, when times were dropping, he couldn't fully exploit his set of fresh tyres. "When entering the first chicane, I had to back off behind a couple of drivers who had just come out of the pits," the 38-year-old from Lemgo reported. "I tried my hardest on my second flying lap, but given the extreme heat, the tyres would only be good enough for half a lap into the second lap -- after that, you'd suffer from a lot of understeer."
After his steady improvements throughout the session, Klenke managed a personal best of 2:01.259 minutes, which brought him 25th place on the grid for the first of Sunday's two 20-minute sprint races.
Team mate Thomas Jaeger missed a braking point on his first flying lap, running straight on in one of the chicanes. "After that, I never quite got my act together," admitted the 28-year-old from Munich. "I never managed as a good a line through Aque Minerali like I did this morning in free practice. I know the car would have been good for more than what I achieved in qualifying."
After having impressed with 11th time in the second free practice session, Jaeger's best time of 2:02.042 minutes would have been good enough for 27th spot on the grid. But since the team had to change an engine after a valve broke in this morning's first free practice, Jaeger will line up last on Sunday.
Team principal Hans Hotfiel said: "After Jaeger's 11th place this morning, we naturally had hoped for a little more in qualifying. Looking closely at the results, you see that the first 12 positions are covered by only 1.6 seconds. That shows how closely matched the WTCC is. We didn't make the most of qualifying but I'm sure we can lap as quick in the races like we did in qualifying, while most of the others will become gradually slower as the race progresses. We are following our own development schedule and we are making improvements."