Klenke Breaks into Top 20 in both FIA WTCC Races in Imola IMOLA, May 29th , 2005 -- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport achieved its first goal in the FIA World Touring Car Championship by scoring two top 20 positions in the fourth round at Imola. Thomas ...
Klenke Breaks into Top 20 in both FIA WTCC Races in Imola
IMOLA, May 29th , 2005 -- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport achieved its first goal in the FIA World Touring Car Championship by scoring two top 20 positions in the fourth round at Imola. Thomas Klenke came home 17th in both heats in his Ford Focus RS WTCC, while Thomas Jaeger was bumped off in the first race and suffered from the aftermath in race 2.
Since track temperatures again rose to more than 50C, the team decided to harden the suspension on both Ford to make sure the tyres could cope. "Given the extremely hot conditions, the car worked very well," noted Klenke. "We were one of only a few that could actually improve on their qualifying times thanks to the changes we made after Warm-Up."
Klenke missed the start of the first race and lost a few positions. "Even though I was quicker than most of the others around me, it wasn't easy to pass. You needed to wait for an opportunity -- but they are few and far between in a field as competitive as this." Klenke managed to gain a few spots and held 17th.
In the second race, the 38-year-old from Lemgo found himself a similar situation. "I was trying to pass someone in the first turn and simply didn't see Stefano d'Aste in my rear view mirror. I turned into him, which spun me around. I was last but managed to recover to 17th again."
Thomas Jaeger wasn't quite as lucky. He found himself fighting with Mexican Carlos Mastretta and the local heroes Stefano Valli and Andrea Larini when he flat-spotted his left front tyre. "I carried on, hoping the tyre would take me to the finish -- but it blew on the last lap," said Jaeger. "When returning to the pits with the flat tyre, I not only ripped off my damper but also tore off a link of the track bar. While we could fix the damper for the second race, I was suffering from the track being out of alignment. The car was pushing a lot in left-hand corners, wearing the tyre significantly and making driving ever more difficult."
Nevertheless, Jaeger finished the second race in 20th position.
Team principal Hans Hotfiel commented: "Finishing inside the top 20 in both races shows that we are making progress. We are understanding the car more and more, and it shows in the improvements we make every time we take to the track after some set-up changes. We will now continue our extensive development work, and I'm sure we'll make further progress in the next couple of weeks."