JAS DRIVERS DOMINATE INDIPENDENTS TROPHY
A win for each one of the JAS drivers in the two races of the last World Touring Car Championship 2005 weekend that took place in the Spanish circuit.
JAS Motorsport was back with two Honda Accord FIA Super 2000 after Puebla, one driven by Adriano De Micheli from Scuderia Niosi (USA) and the second by Thomas Engstrom. They took the win of the Indipendents Drivers, respectively in Race 1 and Race 2, while the 41 years-old driver from sweden won the Indipendent Trophy.
Saturday's qualifying for the Indipendent's pole saw a close fight between the two JAS drivers, Rosenblad and Coronel as they were all gathered in a 0.314 of a second gap. At the end of the session De Micheli could start, 16th overall, first of the Indipendents, taking advantage of the penalty assigned to Coronel from GR Asia due to a engine swap, while Engstrom was in 22nd place.
In race one De Micheli could claim the first position of the Indipendent drivers after battling for the whole race with Cirò and claiming a final 11th overall positioning while Engstrom ended 13th.
"It feels great be on the podium again!" said the Italian driver. "For whole race one i've been battling to keep my good overall positioning and ending first after a smooth race is the proof that the car was running great. It's a quite fast circuit that gives you lots of chances for overtaking, i knew i coul eager for more in race two."
Race two saw De Micheli fighting among the works drivers after a wonderful start that made him challenge Prialux for fifth position until lap 3, but then he got involved twice in accidents with Terting and Genè going out of track and losing positions, also because of the penalty assigned to him. He will end 19th, but JAS first place in the Indipendent Trophy was ensured by the 9th place overall of Thomas Engstrom, who has finished race two ahead of Cirò just by 0.225".
"In race two I was fighting with Terting and Genè" Ado goes on "we were all fast and when I tried to force to overtake them I got in the collisions with both the German and the Spanish driver. The drive trough made me lose positions, but I can claim the fastest lap of Indipendents at the end of the race; this means that I was fast and I could achieve a better positioning without the penalty. It has been a rich weekend for JAS and i'm glad i could be part of this succes. It's a pity for the accidents, but this is how WTCC is, I'm happy for the result of race 1; now I'm ready for Macau".
The weekend has been great also for Engstrom who could claim his first win in WTCC/Indipendents, although the Valencia race track was totally new to him. Tomas drove his own JAS-made Honda Accord, which eventually proved to be as fast as De Micheli's car.
"I am so happy, friday night i couldn't even dream about this win. I knew the car was fast" commented the Sweden "but being my first time here in Valencia i wasn't expecting so much, even if after the warm up I started improving my timing lap after lap. In race two I took the car to the max and I managed to keep Cirò behind me. I thank the JAS team for the technical support, the car was running great, and I knew from Monza I could count on them to be competitive."
HARRISON IMPRESSES IN VALENCIA TEST
On monday JAS Motorsport gave the chance to Simon Harrison, the British driver who will join De Micheli in Macau, to get familiar with the Accord SUPER 2000 and the Team, taking 30 laps around the spanish circuit. Lap times were over impressive, as Simon set an amazing 1:43:9 with very used tires, equivalent to a potential 1:42:5 - 1:43:9 with new tires, sufficient to reach the first 5 positions on the starting grid. "I am very much pleased of the car" Simon commented "this is my first time I drive a competitive Super 2000, and one of the few drives this year at all, as I have done only some races with Porsche Cup in Asia. The Accord is very sensitive to any set-up change, and very effective in any part of the circuit. I do look forward for a highly competitive race in Macau".