Oschersleben brings new winners as Da Costa, Jokinen shine in Motopark hom race Drivers from the local Motopark Academy shone in season rounds seven and eight of the 2008 Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0, supporting the FIA GT event at...
Oschersleben brings new winners as Da Costa, Jokinen shine in Motopark hom race
Drivers from the local Motopark Academy shone in season rounds seven and eight of the 2008 Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0, supporting the FIA GT event at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. In the absence of some of their team-mates, including points leader, Valtteri Bottas, due to clashing commitments in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, there were some new faces on the top step of the podium. Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa took the spoils in the first race from Daniel Aho (Koirainen bros.) and Johan Jokinen (Motopark Academy), while the second race had the same drivers on the podium, but in a different order, Jokinen winning from Da Costa and Aho.
Having reached the halfway-point of the season, Bottas is still leading the points' standings with 180 points, but Da Costa has now moved up to 150 points, with Jokinen third (137).
Qualifying: Having been fastest in the first free practice session already, Motopark Academy's Felix da Costa topped the time sheets in qualifying for the first race as well. The Portuguese lapped the 3.667 kilometres long circuit in 1.26.809 minutes, which brought him an advantage of 0.282 seconds over Finnish driver Daniel Aho (Koirainen bros.), who snatched second place from GU Racing's German driver, Maximiliam Wissel, in the final second of the session. Wissel was followed by two more Motopark drivers, Vinicius Samarone and Johan Jokinen, with Nigel Melker the best-placed Dutch driver in sixth place for Van Amersfoort Racing, just outpacing his team-mate and compatriot, Stef Dusseldorp.
In qualifying for the second race, Johan Jokinen came out on top with a lap time of 1.26.514 minutes. Second and third place went to Daniel Aho and Maximilian Wissel respectively, just like in the first qualifying session. Felix da Costa was only able to complete two laps and had to make do with fourth place.
Race 1: In beautiful sunny summer weather, the race got underway in front of a good crowd at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. However, German lady racer, Marlene Dietrich, wasn't in a mood to enjoy the nice day, as the left rear suspension of her car broke during the warm-up lap. A quick repair job by her SL Formula crew enabled her to still take part in the race, in which she ended up 17th after having started from the pitlane.
Ouf in front, Felix da Costa made the most of his pole position and went on to claim his maiden victory in the series, a nice success for the Motopark Academy driver in the home race of his team. He finished ahead of Daniel Aho and Johan Jokinen, the latter having claimed third place after a nice battle with Maximilian Wissel, who came fourth. The best-placed German in the race result also had good fights with Dutch Koirainen bros. driver Bart Hylkema, who finished fifth. Wissel and Hylkema both scored their best season results to date.
Less fortunate were Van Amersfoort team-mates Stef Dusseldorp and Nigel Melker, who collided on lap two, after which Dusseldorp retired. Melker only finished twelfth. Another Dutchman, Nick Catsburg (MP Motorsport) didn't make it to the finish either. He hit a cone on the track that put a hole into his radiator, forcing him out on lap five. His team-mate Daniel de Jong put in a fine performance, starting 16th and finishing sixth, his best result in the season so far. He was followed home by AR Motorsport pairing, Kelvin Snoeks and Thomas Knopper in seventh and eighth place respectively. Their team-mate, AR Motorsport's new signing, Arnold Neveling from South Africa, drove his first-ever car race at Oschersleben. He showed a good performance as well. Having started from 14th place on the grid, he managed to retain his position throughout the race.
Post-race quotes Race 1:
Antonio Felix da Costa (1st place, Motopark Academy):
"I had a good race. I knew that if I would drive without making any mistakes I would have a good chance to finish first. I am very happy it worked out this way. I have now moved to the second place in the NEC."
Daniel Aho (2nd place, Koirainen bros.): "The start was good and I made no mistake. I knew that Felix da Costa was a bit quicker then I so I drove a very solid race keeping my position. I had to concentrate very much on making no mistake as Jokinen kept pushing from behind. I am very happy to be on the podium, my team did a very good job."
Johan Jokinen (3rd place, Motopark Academy): "I lost one position during the start but could make it up again very quickly. I had a good action overtaking Wissel and kept pushing Aho waiting for him to make a mistake. But he did a good job defending his line. Still not bad to be on the podium. Tomorrow I am on pole so I hope for an even better result then."
Race 2: On Sunday, it was overcast, but dry for the eighth season round of the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 at Oschersleben. The start of the race was a little bit turbulent, as one of the cars was placed on the wrong grid position, after which the red flag was out for a little while, but then the field got underway after all with Johan Jokinen making most of his pole position to claim the lead, which he wasn't to lose anymore until the chequered flag was out. For the Dane, it was his maiden victory of the season.
Behind race leader Jokinen, there was some action in the early stages of the race. On the second lap, Da Costa, who had a good run from fourth on the grid, overtook Daniel Aho and Maximilian Wissel to move up into second place, which he eventually brought home. Behind the two Motopark Academy drivers, Daniel Aho was classified third from Wissel and Brazilian Motopark driver, Vinicius Samarone.
While the top five drivers held on to their positions for the remainder of the race, there was plenty of action in the midfield as well, mainly involving Dutch drivers Nigel Melker, Bart Hylkema, Daniel de Jong, Stef Dusseldorp, Kelvin Snoeks and Thomas Knopper . They had plenty of position changes and eventually finished in the order mentioned above in sixth to eleventh place.
From the back of the grid, Austrian lady racer, Bianca Steiner, drove a charging race which eventually saw her taking the chequered flag in 15th place, one position ahead of the other lady in the field, German Marlene Dietrich.
Johan Jokinen (1st place, Motopark Academy): "It was a hectic start. Because of the red flag I switched off the engine only to restart it directly as the lights came on. Luckily I could hold my position during the start. I could see Felix da Costa really pushing but I tried hard to keep the gap. I am very happy to have finished first."
Antonio Felix Da Costa (2nd place, Motopark Academy): "During the race I really had to keep my concentration. I had a good pace and pushed hard, but I did make a couple of mistakes. Finally, I told myself to calm down and just continue keeping the good pace. The car was good so the team did a great job. To be on the podium again feels really good." .
Daniel Aho (3rd place, Koirainen bros.): "I am very happy to be on the podium again. It was a bit easier than yesterday, I could drive a good and safe race. The car felt good and I had no problems at all, so the team again was great!"