The gods were not smiling on Racing Engineering today as both Javier Villa and Marcos Martinez were early retirements in today's Sprint Race through no fault of their own. The race got off to a promising start as Javier made an excellent getaway...
The gods were not smiling on Racing Engineering today as both Javier Villa and Marcos Martinez were early retirements in today's Sprint Race through no fault of their own.
The race got off to a promising start as Javier made an excellent getaway from third place on the grid, leaving his braking to the last possible moment and with puffs of smoke coming from his tyres he took the lead into the first chicane. Any thoughts of another great win were instantly dashed as the Repsol/Telefonica car suddenly slowed as Javi accelerated away from the corner he suffered a problem with his clutch as it began to slip badly; immediately cars were passing him all round the circuit. At the end of the first lap he was 11th and as he dropped further down the field, continuing to loose positions as he clutch problem continued and it soon began to cause a problem with his engine, it was no surprise to see him retire after a handful of laps.
Things were no better for Marcos, looking to make up as many positions as possible from his starting position at the back of the grid following yesterday's gearbox problems Marcos made a very good start. Sadly however it all went wrong at the end of the first lap, entering the Parabolica several cars were involved in an incident which ended in Zaugg's car half-spinning. Exiting the corner at high speed Marcos was totally unable to avoid hitting the South African's car and poor Marcos was an immediate retirement with heavy front-end damage.
After all the hard work the team had done to prepare the cars for today's race it was the worst possible result but with the knowledge that they have a winning driver in Javi and a very promising new talent in Marcos they are certain to bounce back at Spa in two weeks time.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon (team principal): "I am sure Javi would have won today if a mechanical problem hadn't stopped him as he had a very fast setup for his car. Marcos had a great start and passed seven cars and I'm sure he would have gone very well if he hadn't been involved in an accident that was not his fault. He has made spectacular progress and I'm sure he will soon be in the points. Once again the team worked very hard and did a great job."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "The race was very difficult, the key was to make a good start and then push hard. I made a great start and I was first into the chicane but on the exit the clutch began to slip badly and I lost a lot of places. I continued for a few laps but the clutch problem continued and began to damage the engine so I retired. It was a real pity as I think I could have won today."
Marcos Martinez (driver car 15): "I made a good start and overtook several cars but there was an incident in front of me in the Parabolica and I couldn't avoid an accident. It has been a very bad weekend for me but it will be better in Spa."