Canada's Sean McIntosh enjoyed an encouraging debut in the World Series by Renault today and despite retiring on the penultimate lap, having been collected by Japan's Hayanari Shimoda, the Team KTR racer was pleased with what would otherwise have...
Canada's Sean McIntosh enjoyed an encouraging debut in the World Series by Renault today and despite retiring on the penultimate lap, having been collected by Japan's Hayanari Shimoda, the Team KTR racer was pleased with what would otherwise have been a guaranteed top-ten finish.
Race 1, Qualifying (Pole -- Christian Montanari, Prema Power Team, 1m17.122s)
Running an all-new 30-minute qualifying format this season, allowing drivers just seven laps to record their best time, today's session could best be described as incident-packed! With no fewer than three red flags and numerous yellows, Sean finally emerged for his qualifying run but spun off at the chicane on what would likely have been his fastest lap, Zolder's new track surface catching several drivers out. Traffic marred the rest of his available running, McIntosh posting a best lap of 1m19.438s around the 4.048km Belgian circuit.
Race 1, 21 Laps (Winner -- Eric Salignon, Interwetten Racing)
Starting 17th on the 30-car grid, it didn't take McIntosh long to slice his 425bhp Formula Renault 3.5 through the field towards the top-ten, placing his KTR entru 11th at the close of the opening lap. With conditions remaining cool but dry throughout the first half of the race Sean ran with the pack, happy with the pace of his car. Light rain spiced up the proceedings in the second half, enough to make track conditions a handful but not enough to pit for wet tires. Having raced through to ninth on the penultimate lap, McIntosh gained two more places before the run to the Villeneuve Chicane. As the pack locked up, an ambitious move from behind by Shimoda saw the Japanese racer spear into the front-right corner of Sean's car, taking the Canadian out of the race and a certain top-ten, points-scoring debut.
Sean McIntosh - #6 Team KTR: "We'll improve the car for tomorrow's second race but we know our pace is pretty competitive. We didn't show our true form in qualifying; I was perhaps trying a little too hard heading into the first chicane. The race was a lot more positive and I knew I could run inside the top-ten, it's just a shame I was taken out with a lap and a half to go!"
Race 2 (28 Laps), including a mandatory pit-stop, starts tomorrow at 2:15pm CET.