RAMEZ AZZAM ON THE PACE IN SILVERSTONE, PICKS UP FOUR POINTS SILVERSTONE, JULY 06 2009 - Ramez Azzam (UAE) enjoyed another strong guest appearance in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 last weekend in Silverstone (UK). After having raced in the ...
RAMEZ AZZAM ON THE PACE IN SILVERSTONE, PICKS UP FOUR POINTS
SILVERSTONE, JULY 06 2009 - Ramez Azzam (UAE) enjoyed another strong guest appearance in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 last weekend in Silverstone (UK). After having raced in the highly competitive and regarded category in Hungary last month as well, the SG Formula driver was on the pace the entire weekend. After having secured the 10th and 13th grid slot for both races at the British GP circuit on Saturday, Azzam netted his first four points of the season on Sunday by finishing in 7th position.
FREE PRACTICE & QUALIFYING
After heavy rainfall had hit the 5140 meter long circuit northwest of London overnight, all 27 Formula Renault racers had to get to grips with the high-speed Grand Prix circuit on Friday morning in wet conditions. Azzam showed himself to be a wet weather specialist by regularly leading the pack in the first session. But as the track dried out as the session progressed, the drivers on slick tyres took over control in the final stages of the first collective test, which saw Azzam drop to P9. In the afternoon, on a dry track surface, Azzam struggled a bit on new tyres, and so did his SG Formula team mates. Azzam therefore only ended the day in 13th position.
In Saturday's initial qualifying session, Azzam bounced back with a strong performance in his 'Group A' session. By setting the 6th fastest time, the Emirati driver easily made it to the Superpole session. A small error in his fastest lap during this decisive final timed session costed him dearly however. After having ran wide at one of the blindingly fast, but therefore tricky, corners, Azzam had to settle for the tenth starting position for Saturday's opening race. With his second fastest lap, the Dubai based driver also secured P13 for Sunday's second race heat.
RACE 01 & 02
A good race start on Saturday afternoon quickly moved Azzam into ninth position in the opening stages of the 15 lap race. Even though the Silverstone circuit offers many overtaking opportunities, the top ten order remained quite the same for the first ten minutes. Halfway the race, Azzam started to struggle to keep his speed up, as his tyre pressure was a bit too high. In the closing minutes of the 25 minute race, Azzam tried very hard to defend his 9th position, but couldn't help two drivers pass him, after which he finished in 11th position.
On Sunday's race, Azzam was out to prove a point from 13th position on the grid. And he did! After having overtaken two drivers at the start, Azzam charged hard to get into the top ten.
Highlight of the race was definitely a spectacular and successful overtaking manouvre on Nathanael Berthon on the outside of the ultra quick Maggotts/Becketts corner. As two other drivers crashed into each other ahead of him in the closing stages of the 15 lap race, Azzam was promoted to 7th position. By finishing in this same position, Azzam netted his first four points of his Eurocup campaign.
RAMEZ AZZAM: "I sincerely enjoyed this weekend, as the Silverstone circuit is truly phenomenal. After having started the weekend strong in the wet, we somehow struggled on new slick tyres as a team. Luckily we overcame our issues in time for Saturday's qualifying. A shame I made a small mistake in my fastest lap, as I could have qualified a few positions higher if that would not have been the case. Saturday's race was a tough one in which I had to change my approach towards the end in a defensive one. On Sunday I felt very strong and moved up sixth positions during the race. Especially the move on Berthon was a splendid one, which I would very much like to see in a replay. Next stop is Misano (Italy), where I will be testing a F3 car from BVM Target for the first time later this week!"
-credit: ramez azzam