Natacha Gachnang drives car 18 to a promising fourteenth place in race one of the F2 Championship at Brands Hatch Qualifying for race 2 - position 9 at 1.17.476 Race 1 - position 14 Saturday, July 18, 2009 - 21-year-old Natacha Gachnang put in...
Natacha Gachnang drives car 18 to a promising fourteenth place in race one of the F2 Championship at Brands Hatch
Qualifying for race 2 - position 9 at 1.17.476
Race 1 - position 14
Saturday, July 18, 2009 - 21-year-old Natacha Gachnang put in her best qualifying performance of the season so far in round 2 qualifying taking her first top ten grid position in F2. Natacha Gachnang, the Swiss driver from Vevey also finished the first race of the Formula 2 Weekend at Brands Hatch in 14th having qualified 21st but started 17th on the grid following penalties given to some of her rivals.
Brands Hatch hosts the fourth round of the Formula 2 series which returns for the first season in 25 years where 25 drivers compete in identical cars running Avon tyres. On this track, World Champion F1 Ayrton Senna won his first ever car race and World Champion Nigel Mansell claimed his first Formula One victory.
In the morning session Natacha Gachnang's result for the second race qualifying left her satisfied after 19 laps. She had clocked her fastest lap on the 15th lap with 0.529 off pole in 9th place giving her the best result so far this season. Overall qualifying time was 1:17.476. Again, like yesterday the cars qualified on a dry track despite changeable weather conditions.
In the 28 lap race, Natacha Gachnang started 17th following penalties to five drivers after yesterday's qualifying but had a bad start and dropped to 25th. Natacha Gachnang finished in 14th place after a very competitive race where there was plenty of overtaking and drama throughout the field as she carved her way back up the order. Natacha was back up to 21st after seven laps, 20th after 11 laps and by the time the pace car was out she had moved up to 18th.
"With five laps to go I was in 15th," said Natacha Gachnang. "I was still pushing, but there was not much I could do as Eng, Soucek and Surtees went on the podium. Evidently I am happy to have qualified 9th in the morning. This is my best qualifying position. I have been getting closer and closer all season and in this qualifying session I have proved that I am only five tenths slower than the pole time. The car feels good and I can take more risks than before - it is the first time this season that I have felt so comfortable. The track was much faster than yesterday and I had a lot of pleasure again. Of course, I am pleased with the result even if I am frustrated knowing where I could have gone stronger and I did not. But at least I have discovered how to improve. The day was good overall and in race 1 I also brought my car to a 14th place finish. Half way through the season I can see the progress we have made. It was a tough race. I found my pace and when the safety car was out I was able to progress some more. Because of the starting incident I could not get into the points as I hoped. This track fits my driving style and I liked all the difficulties and all corners here. I have a lot of confidence now so I'll be targeting a finish tomorrow in the points . I got a good finish considering where we started, although without points. I'm looking forward to building on this in the second race tomorrow starting with my highest qualifying position of the season."