FAIRUZ FAUZY HAILS DEBUT AS HIS 'BEST RACE EVER' Monza, Italy -- 15 April, 2007. On his maiden World Series by Renault race Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy just missed a podium finish at Monza after a last lap incident put him off the circuit. Despite...
FAIRUZ FAUZY HAILS DEBUT AS HIS 'BEST RACE EVER'
Monza, Italy -- 15 April, 2007. On his maiden World Series by Renault race Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy just missed a podium finish at Monza after a last lap incident put him off the circuit. Despite that he described his first race as one of the best of his career.
Fairuz was promoted to seventh place on the grid for Saturday's World Series season-opener as two drivers in front of him were penalised in qualifying. But at the first corner the Cram Competition ace was squeezed and in trying to avoid contact dropped outside the top ten.
What followed was a dramatic comeback drive for the Malaysian and he scythed his way back up through the field. Fairuz brilliantly took advantage of a number of safety car periods and slipstreamed his rivals with ease by using the new push-to-pass system on his Dallara Renault.
"It was such a fantastic race," said Fairuz. "The car had the pace, it was very strong and despite losing a few positions in the opening lap we made great progress through the field. It was one of my most enjoyable races and a really great performance."
Fairuz spent the majority of the race in fourth place, but was challenging local Italian driver Marco Bonanomi for third as they took to the final lap. "We had been wheel-to-wheel a number of times and on the last lap I had a look to pass him. I managed to get alongside after the first chicane but unfortunately he moved across and took me off the circuit."
Despite running wide at the Curva Grande, Fairuz managed to control the car so that it didn't spin and crash. But the time lost put him down to 12th place at the flag. Nevertheless, Fairuz recorded the third quickest lap of the race, unlocking the potential in the Cram package.
For race two on Sunday morning, Fairuz started the race where he finished in race one -- 12th on the grid. Another superb drive saw the Cram Competition machine move up the field to sixth position in another fantastic performance for the 24-year-old. Just as he was challenging Alvaro Parente for fourth, Fairuz tried to adjust the brake bias inside the cockpit but accidentally switched off the ignition switch, seven laps from home.
"I didn't know what had happened, but I suddenly lost all drive," explains Fairuz. "There was no warning light on the cockpit display, that's when I realised I must have accidentally knocked off the ignition switch. I turned it back on but had lost six places."
Fairuz took one more place to finish race two in 11th, but afterwards Giedo van der Garde was handed a 25-second penalty for cutting across a chicane. The Dutch driver lost seventh place, meaning Fairuz was classified tenth -- to earn his first championship point of the year.
"I'm so glad to have come away from the weekend with a point! It's a shame we didn't get better results as the car was very strong and had the pace," he said. "I've learnt a lot this weekend with using the new push-to-pass system, but the most important thing is that we didn't end up in the wall."