Set-up changes did the job for Chris van der Drift at Zandvoort! ZANDVOORT, THE NETHERLANDS, 28 AUGUST 2005 - Chris van der Drift finished the weekend at Zandvoort with a dramatic improvement in Sunday's race. In the first race of the weekend...
Set-up changes did the job for Chris van der Drift at Zandvoort!
ZANDVOORT, THE NETHERLANDS, 28 AUGUST 2005 - Chris van der Drift finished the weekend at Zandvoort with a dramatic improvement in Sunday's race. In the first race of the weekend for the 2005 Formula BMW ADAC championship Van der Drift was catapulted off the track by Dzikevic, while in the second the 19-year old driver became 'man of the match' by climbing from fourteenth position at the start to sixth at the finish! With one weekend to go Van der Drift has 131 points and currently is fourth in the championship.
In both qualifying sessions late on Friday afternoon the twelve-time New Zealand go-kart champion struggled with his race car set-up. With only a ten-minute interval between sessions Van der Drift had to cope and qualify as best as he could. In his "home-race" he qualified in eleventh and fourteenth grid positions for the races on Saturday and Sunday respectively. In the first session the Team Rosberg driver achieved a quickest lap of 1:44.614, while he improved this time by clocking 1:44.145 during the final qualifying session. Although he went almost half a second faster his starting position was a further row back in the race line-up. Unfortunately set-up changes after the early afternoon's testing session didn't achieve the desired hope of qualifying within the first 3 rows for the races.
CHRIS VAN DER DRIFT: "I am totally dissatisfied with my qualifying sessions. I am missing heaps of speed and I am really struggling to get some decent lap times. It is frustrating to know that I am capable to do better but that I cannot show it here. I should be in the top three and not outside the top ten! We do not have the set-up right and on a technical track like Zandvoort I have little chance to finish on the podium unless you can qualify much better."
RACE 01 + 02
During Saturday's race Chris promptly gained a few places at the start and before the first corner but lost them later on in the same lap by going slightly wide in the Audi S corner when attempting a pass. Van der Drift continued the fight for a better position and when attempting a pass for eighth in the closing stage of the race with a lap to go was catapulted of the track by Andzej Dzikevic in the Tarzan corner. This was a huge disappointment for the resident of Zevenhuizen and it meant no championship points. In the second race of the weekend Van der Drift made an impressive start and overtook six competitors in the first lap. The 2004 Rookie Cup winner gained another place on lap two to be in seventh place. Kiwi then caught his Finnish team-mate Marcus Niemela but then struggled with a lack of front end downforce for 5 laps while trying to find a way past. Finally on the last lap at turn one (the Tarzan corner) Kiwi managed to make the pass on his team-mate to finish sixth at the flag after 12 laps.
CHRIS VAN DER DRIFT: "The weekend started very bad for me. During the free practice and qualifying sessions we simply did not have the speed and that meant I qualified outside the top ten. I tried to attack in race one, after my engineer made a few set-up changes overnight, but it was a real struggle to move forward. A stupid move from Dzikevic forced me to retire with a broken steering arm with two laps of the race to go. I saw him coming in really late with a kamikaze move in turn one but I just couldn't get out of the way properly.
I have been really frustrated each time I race with my lack of car speed and I wanted to take the risk of changing the set-up completely. For me it was a huge risk! And it was a hugely better car. Thank goodness! I now had speed where it mattered and could finish in the points! Goes well, ends well! At least I could now show that I was still a competitve driver, something that has been lacking for a long time!
Now we will have to try for a great set-up for the final races at Hockenheim in seven weeks where it would be neat to have some good finishes for the end of the season!"