Atlantic Racing Team moves forward After having their best showing in Singapore 14 days ago at the Grand Prix, the team moved into their next venue to Shanghai, China. Blue skies, incredible traffic and amazing food awaited the...
Atlantic Racing Team moves forward
After having their best showing in Singapore 14 days ago at the Grand Prix, the team moved into their next venue to Shanghai, China. Blue skies, incredible traffic and amazing food awaited the team. Organization, as usual, was a flawless affair thanks to AFOS, F1 and the Formula BMW Pacific people.
Welcoming a guest driver, Alfonso "Picho"Toledano of Mexico City, in addition to the now seasoned 15 year old Gabby Chaves, the cars were proper prepared. The first and only practice started early Friday morning -- ending with Picho in 2nd and Gabby in 4th place. With only a 15 minute break and no way to go back to the paddock for changes, the qualifying session for both races started quite well. While Gabby pulled out all the stops and ending 5th and 4th respectively, Picho had problems finding the right rhythm and partners for drafting on the long back straight at the Shanghai Circuit, ending the session with a disappointing 12th and 10th place for both races.
"Gabby did an excellent job in qualifying, he found the right pace and place to be in within the first 2 hot laps" explains Lucas Strackerjan the engineer for the team, and goes on to say "Picho's practice performance showed that he is a real driver even after a long period not being in a car due to his horrific accident in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately and due to the short periods between practice and qualifying, his problems multiplied as his healing body became an issue too. But, as he said, these are things a driver has to content with and to overcome."
Sadly, this phrase had to be repeated today -- Gabby in 5th starting position, Picho in 12th. Both made excellent starts, both moving 4 places in the first lap. Gabby went into P1 and kept on going strongly, fighting off the 5 car pack behind him. Picho in the meantime got brake checked which did cost him a front crash box and wing -- but even more importantly, a pit stop getting a new front nose and wing. This all resulted in him being one lap down. Picho ended the race in this position. Gabby made a slight error on the 3rd lap, induced by a ferociously fighting Ollie Milroy of Great Britain, allowing the subsequent race winner, Simon Moss of Hong Kong, to slip through. As they say -- the rest is history -- running in P2, with now 2 more driver fighting for the third place, Gabby made some space between him and the rest and received the chequered flag -- ending his 13th Formula BMW Pacific race for the second time in P2, having now a total of 3 podium places to his FBMW credits. This brings him also into 4th position for the total driver standing -- an incredible achievement for the barely 15 year old Columbian driver.
Congratulations to Ross Jamieson, the new 2008 Formula BMW Pacific Champion.
Tomorrow, Sunday will be the next round of the FBMW Pacific series. After that, the teams will move to Macau, racing there the final race on November 16th, 2008.