Pau: Racing for Belgium race one, two notes

Constructive Weekend for Racing For Belgium! PAU - Miguel Freitas of Racing For Belgium has shown that race upon race he and the Belgian team have made a fair amount of progress by finishing fourth in the Independents. In the...

Constructive Weekend for Racing For Belgium!

PAU - Miguel Freitas of Racing For Belgium has shown that race upon race he and the Belgian team have made a fair amount of progress by finishing fourth in the Independents. In the first heat of the WTCC-meeting at Pau the Belgian team's Alfa Romeo 156 just missed a first podium by a few seconds. Earlier in the day the Portuguese driver had clinched a fourth spot on the grid, less than a second from the fast Anthony Beltoise. The morning's result showed promise for the second race, but unfortunately an oil spill from another competitor took its toll and the weekend's positive thread could not be drawn on through.

"Pity for the retirement this afternoon, but we are continually making progress and perhaps the first podium could be for one of the coming races. We mustn't forget that this is a maiden year for us, in what might be called one of the most hard-fought and professional championships in the world", a satisfied team manager Wim Coekelbergs comments on looking back at the weekend at the foot of the French Pyrenees.

"Once again our free practice sessions didn't run smoothly. This time around we lost the whole session due to a problem with the clutch, and once again we lost valuable learning time. But we are in fact competing with a car that is completely new to us and I reckon we are still lacking a touch of experience to sort everything out perfectly. The real pity today is that everything went wrong only a few minutes before the start of the free session and we lost valuable time", team manager Coekelbergs explained on Friday evening.

This meant that Freitas was only able to discover the track during the qualifying sessions, definitely not an advantage, but all the same he put in an excellent result.

Freitas: "And to be honest a yellow flag during my fast lap rather ruined my final result. I finished less than a second behind Beltoise, but the outcome could have been better, especially on a street circuit, where your grid position is enormously important.

The first race ran smoothly for the Portuguese in the Alfa, missing his first podium by a hair's breadth. Freitas: "At the start I stayed clear of the bustling and ran my own race. This street circuit does not lend itself to crazy driving and the slightest incident can cost you a decent result. In the first place I wanted to finish the race and not take any risks. I had the right rhythm and was able to keep some of the experienced WTCC-drivers behind me. Sixteenth overall and fourth in the Independents-class is definitely a good result."

Unfortunately in the afternoon matters turned sour. "An oil spill caught Miguel by surprise, he was then nudged by another competitor and it was over and out for us", Wim Coekelbergs told us from Pau. "But let us especially remember the excellent progress made throughout the weekend and not be fixated on this race incident. Miguel and all the boys in the team work really hard and are also showing great progress and we can't expect more than that during this phase of the season."

RFB are now heading up to Spa for the third race of the Mediagroep Van Dyck Belcar, where Ron Marchal and Wim Coekelbergs in their Aston Martin GT3 are once more aiming for a podium place.

-credit: rfb

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Miguel Freitas , Anthony Beltoise , Ron Marchal