ZANDVOORT, JULI 14TH 2008 -- Henki Waldschmidt was not able to compete for the podium during his Formula 3 Euroseries races this weekend at Zandvoort. The combination of the SG Formula driver never having driven on this circuit before and...
ZANDVOORT, JULI 14TH 2008 -- Henki Waldschmidt was not able to compete for the podium during his Formula 3 Euroseries races this weekend at Zandvoort. The combination of the SG Formula driver never having driven on this circuit before and technical problems during free practise on Friday resulted in a slow start of the weekend. Despite the lack of mileage, track-knowledge and experience, Waldschmidt did show his eagerness in both races. Unfortunately, poor qualifying condemned him to fights in the middle of the pack.
FREE TRAINING & QUALIFYING
Despite the fact that the fifth round of the Formula 3 Euroseries held at Circuit Park Zandvoort can be qualified as his backyard-circuit, it was the first time that Waldschmidt visited the 4,309 kilometre long track. A problem with his clutch during free training on Friday added to the lack of miles that the Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP) driver had to make up for. So after the team had solved the problems before the second session of free training, Waldschmidt tried to acquire as much track experience and -knowledge in as little time possible. With only a limited amount of miles on the traack, Waldschmidt started qualifying on Friday afternoon with basically a clean sheeth. Even so, the 20 year old Dutchman managed to claim 19th place on the grid for the opening race on Saturday.
In between the several rainshowers, the first race on Satruday afternoon was held under dry conditions. Having to start from 19th place, it proved to be difficult for Waldschmidt to find his way forward. For once in the slipstream of another driver, too much loss of downforce prevented him from overtaking his opponent in corners. During the 26 laps of racing, Henki only had two real chances to overtake another driver. Both of which he seized immediately. Following the disqualification of Nico Hulkenberg after the race, Waldschmidt moved up to 16th overall in the standings.
The next race on Sunday morning, Waldschmidt felt much more in control. In the opening stages of the race, he quiclky gained three places. Much to the delight of the many attending racefans. During the laps thereafter, Henki really had his work cut out for him, having to contend many battles for position in his struggle forward. During the endstages of the race, the SG Formula driver had an intense duel with John Lancaster. Unfortunately for Henki, John thought to see a gap to overtake going into the famous Tarzan-corner. With desastrous concequenses for both drivers. Jophn got himself stranded in the kittylitter and Henki had to visit the pits with a broken right rear suspension.
HENKI WALDSCHMIDT: In advance, I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park this weekend. Mainly because the entire track was new to me. Yet I silently hoped to get a good result here, in front of the home crowd. But the entire field is so evenly matched, that already during free training and qualifying everything has to be right. It can be said that the problems with the clutch on friday plagued us the entire weekend. Too bad. Now it's a matter of looking ahead to the next race at the Nuerburgring!