F2

Donington: Natacha Gachnang race report

For today's races the weather was good at Donington. On a dry track, all cars were on slick tyres. Natacha Gachnang left from the clean side of the grid in 19th position for race 1 and finished the first race in 13th with a car intact for the 2nd...

For today's races the weather was good at Donington. On a dry track, all cars were on slick tyres. Natacha Gachnang left from the clean side of the grid in 19th position for race 1 and finished the first race in 13th with a car intact for the 2nd race of the weekend. The start of Race 2 was quite another story as the car would not start on the grid and stalled. When Natacha Gachnang was pushed back to the pit lane the engine was stopped and would not restart. The other cars started though while Natacha Gachnang could not shift and her car was in reverse. Finally at the end of the pit lane her car started and Natacha got away, although at this stage was already two laps down on her rivals. She didn't give up and went on to finish the race 17th.

Natacha had a fantastic start for the 25 lap first race when key competitors were eliminated at once following a lap one collision: Nicola Di Marco crashed, Jens Hoing had a puncture and Vasiliauskas went off on the formation lap. Then for no reason when she got down to turn 4, Natacha Gachnang spun. Luckily she managed to stay in the race and get back on track and recovered in 21st place even if she lost time despite a best lap (1'26'237). Natacha Gachnang then clocked consistent lap times within two tenths of each other. Later, on lap 17, Jolyon Palmer, Henri Karjalainen and Carlos Iaconelli collided, damaging all three cars. Natacha Gachnang was catching Pietro Gandolfi who was blocking, but then in trying to get past she damaged the nose of her car. Nevertheless she pushed on and after a strong battle, overtook Gandolfi.

Ahead of Natacha there was more action with Alex Brundle recovering from a spin after a close moment with Henri Karjalainen at Coppice, whilst Pietro Gandolfi retired following a double spin at the Fogerty Esses and Goddards. By then, with six laps to go, Natacha Gachnang was ranking 14th. Pavlovic retired and Natacha moved up to 13th.

Natacha explains: "I wished this race one had been longer as I clocked my fastest laps towards the end of the race with 1m26.021s. In race one I did not make any mistakes and still do not know why I spun at the start. I want to see the video of the race because I imagine that someone pushed me and I want to find out. In all that, I am certain that my engine has not functioned well all weekend. As a consequence, I was losing out in the turns and when I was braking. I would like to have a normal car for the next race because I do not like the idea of being over one minute away from the winner Andy Soucek! For race 2 I was prepared for another good start from 22nd on the grid, but the car behaved in a strange way and I stalled. The marshals soon found out that there was nothing to do. I am relieved to hear from the technicians I experienced a rare electrical problem that stalled the car at the start. In the race, the car was behaving fine. I was even faster than in my first race, 0.6s faster a lap than in race one. I spun twice on lap 8 and four laps to the end on lap 21. Again the technicians have no explanations. It is the first time that their data recorded such behavior for an F2 car. I am happy for Julien Jousse's first win in F2, the sixth of his career.

The next event in F2, will be 4-6 Sep 2009 at Oschersleben. But do not think that I will be off next week - I will be at the Nueburgring for a new marathon, jumping from the wheel of my Formula Le Mans to the wheel of my Radical SR5 for the Swiss based team Hope PoleVision Racing. Watch me race there again!"

-credit: ng

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About this article
Series F2
Drivers Natacha Gachnang , Julien Jousse , Carlos Iaconelli , Andy Soucek , Jens Hoing , Henri Karjalainen , Alex Brundle , Pietro Gandolfi , Jolyon Palmer