Chris van der Drift scores two race wins at Zandvoort, Holland ! Zandvoort 6 June 2006 -- Two pole-positions, two victories and a fastest race lap was the result for Kiwi race driver Chris van der Drift during the seventh and eighth rounds of...
Chris van der Drift scores two race wins at Zandvoort, Holland !
Zandvoort 6 June 2006 -- Two pole-positions, two victories and a fastest race lap was the result for Kiwi race driver Chris van der Drift during the seventh and eighth rounds of the Formula Renault Northern European Championship at the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort. "This is absolutely fantastic!" said Van der Drift.
On Saturday morning the New Zealand driver began with his two 20 minute qualifying sessions. Once he took to the track, situated in the dunes on the Dutch coast, it was not long before he was reeling off quick lap times and finished the first session in complete dominance. The Kiwi's qualifying time for race one was no less than a half second faster than the next competitor, followed by the next five drivers within 2/10th! Van der Drift captured his second pole position in the following qualifying session with a time 3/10th of a second quicker than team-mate Xavier Maassen.
In contrast to earlier events, both NEC Formula Renault races were to be held on the same day, but not on Sunday but on Monday. At the start of race one Van der Drift was able to defend his pole position with a great start and led Sebastien Buemi out of turn one. The Kiwi gradually created a gap to his Swiss rival and after 10 laps (the race was red-flagged two laps short by a dramatic crash into the tyre wall by Portuguese rival Felipe Albuquerque) took the checkered flag.
The first row for race two was filled by JD Motorsport. With Chris van der Drift on pole and fellow team-member Maasen on grid two, it was promising to be a great battle. After the start Van der Drift was pressured by his team-mate but was able to preserve his first position. However during the first lap two cars back in the field had a heavy crash resulting in a safety car period while the cars were removed. Three laps later the race was re-started and once again Maassen began to pressure the Kiwi. Van der Drift resisted the attempt of his team-mate to pass him in the Tarzan corner (Turn 1) and in spite of t he constant pressure, finally passed the finish flag after 12 laps in first place.
Thanks to these two victories Van der Drift has now taken over the lead in the championship from Red Bull rival Felipe Albuquerque by 17 points.
Chris van der Drift after the races: "It went fantastically! This weekend on Zandvoort has been really great. Pole-position twice, two wins and the lead in the championship. The first race went very well and I was able to lead the race with a comfortable margin. In the second race Xavier kept the pressure on me. At the start I could defend my position going into turn 1 and fortunately after the re-start I could also stay in front of him coming out of turn 1, but it was close. At last victory in both races, hopefully I can repeat this success in Istanbul during the third and fourth round of the Eurocup races. And a huge Thanks to my team JD Motorsport, they have again given me a great car!"
The next event on the programme is the third and fourth round of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship, during the weekend of 16-18 June at Istanbul, Turkey.