Imola: RP Motorsport preview

RP Motorsport's tips and hints for Imola Less than one week to go for the second Auto GP event in Imola, and all the teams commited to the series are preparing themselves for the travel to the Italian track. The Imola round of the championship...

RP Motorsport's tips and hints for Imola

Less than one week to go for the second Auto GP event in Imola, and all the teams commited to the series are preparing themselves for the travel to the Italian track. The Imola round of the championship is among the most awaited by the drivers: those who never raced on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit are obviously fascinated by the heritage of a track that wrote so many important pages of F1 and motorsport history, while the ones who already raced there are looking forward to do it again. That's because Imola is very different from all those brand- new boring and flat tracks.

Uphills and downhills, differently sloped corners, very fast zones mixed with an hairpin like "Tosa", Imola boasts a wide-range of different challenges for a driver, and that's why in the past it was nicknamed "the little Nurburgring".

But if for a driver Imola is a kind of dream track, let's see what does it mean for a team's technical staff. Fausto Gatti, engineering coordinator at RP Motorsport, gives us some hints to have a fast car on the Italian track.

"After the recent changes, coping with Imola is even more difficult. Now that the last chicane has been removed there's a long part of the track on full throttle, so top speed became more important than ever because with a fast car you can overtake or defend your position with ease before the braking at Tamburello. Despite this, I still think that Imola is an high downforce track".

Gatti feels that opting for a low drag setup would hamper too much the car's performance in other sectors of the track. "There are some sectors, particularly Piratella and Acque Minerali, were having an high downforce can help the driver a lot in keeping a good speed through the corner, something that is very useful because then you have to go uphill towards the Variante Alta". And Variante Alta is another very important spot: "That chicane has very high kerbs and the car must be able to jump on them easily because the drivers need to cut as much as possible to straighten their racing line. Doing this, they can gain 3-4 tenths easily, that's why this is a crucial spot. Anyway, a too soft setup would be bad in other zones of the track, so you have to compromise, working also with anti-roll bars".

In Gatti's opinion, Rivazza will be the most difficult corner for the drivers: "It's a unique corner because it's both downhill and sloped outwards. Furthermore, the cars will arrive there under braking, so with a far from ideal balance. A good set-up for this corner would be absolutely improper for the rest of the track, so the driver will just have to cope with a lot of understeer".

-source: auto gp

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Series Auto GP