KLENKE AND JAEGER FEEL PROGRESS ON FOCUS STARTING POSITION Team Ford Hotfiel Sport will only know on Sunday morning what the final grid positions for their drivers will be for the third race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in ...
KLENKE AND JAEGER FEEL PROGRESS ON FOCUS STARTING POSITION
Team Ford Hotfiel Sport will only know on Sunday morning what the final grid positions for their drivers will be for the third race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Magny-Cours.
After both Thomas Jaeger and Thomas Klenke had to start with new engines in France, race stewards relegated them ten positions on the grid. But since Jaeger's engine change came in the aftermath of a collision that required the team to build an all-new car for the 28-year-old from Munich, the stewards will investigate how to apply the rules for this particular case. A decision is due on Sunday morning.
In Klenke's case, the rules are clear because his engine change became necessary after an oil-supply problem on his engine in Monza. Thus, his starting position doesn't reflect the true potential of Ford Focus RS WTCC.
The times recorded in qualifying underline the progress that has been achieved since the season opener in Monza. Klenke managed 1:52.378 minutes, which would have been good enough for 25th position, while Jaeger's 1:52.898 minutes would earn him 29th if the penalty is not applied.
Furthermore, both drivers managed to shave more than one second off the distance to the leading cars compared to the Monza times.
Eberhard Braun, the German motorsport manager of Ford TeamRS, regrets that the rise in performance doesn't show on Sunday's grid. "We knew from the test we did here before the season that this track would suit our cars pretty well," he said.
Both drivers felt the improvements achieved by adjusting the rollcentre of the rear axle after the results of the rig test at Lommel.
Klenke couldn't try out the new tyres prior to qualifying after a problem on the front suspension and a cracked exhaust cost him valuable time in both free practice sessions. "To make sure the rear wheels don't lock up under braking, we used a different brake calliper and re-adjusted the brake balance," said the 38-year-old from Lemgo. "However, my brake pedal went soft on my first qualifying run."
The mechanics bled the brakes for Klenke's second outing. "But the pedal went soft again, and in addition to that, the gear leaver worked itself loose, leaving me stranded in neutral twice on my quickest lap."
Jaeger reported: "After the lessons learnt at Lommel and in the following tests, we lowered the rear ride height and went for harder springs. For my first set of new tyres, we also tried softer damper settings on the rear -- but we changed that back for my second run. The rear axle was quite stable now but I felt the car's cornering reaction after the initial turn-in was a little too slow."
Bernd Meyer, Team Ford Hotfiel Sport's Technical Director, summed up: "We saw that we made a step forward when using new tyres for just one flying lap. We now have to work on adjusting the set-up in a way that enables us to reproduce that over the entire race distance."