RAMEZ AZZAM DEMONSTRATES STRONG RACE PACE AT BARCELONA Ramez Azzam (UAE) enjoyed two strong race performances in this weekend's second round of the Western European Cup (WEC) Formula Renault 2.0 at Barcelona. After having qualified in eighth and...
RAMEZ AZZAM DEMONSTRATES STRONG RACE PACE AT BARCELONA
Ramez Azzam (UAE) enjoyed two strong race performances in this weekend's second round of the Western European Cup (WEC) Formula Renault 2.0 at Barcelona. After having qualified in eighth and sixth position respectively for the races on Sunday morning and afternoon, the SG Driver's Project driver experienced a slow start to his races but recovered remarkably. Azzam charged hard throughout both the 25 minutes races in order to regain his position and finally took the chequered flag twice in ninth position.
FREE PRACTISES AND QUALIFYING
As the second round of the WEC Formula Renault 2.0 was organized alongside the annual World Series by Renault event, 36 cars got to the Barcelona track for the combined two free practice sessions. With only one set of new Michelin tyres to his disposal, Azzam decided to run the first of the two 40 minute sessions on an used set to get a decent first impression of the 4,655 meter long 'Circuit de Catalunya'. Before and during the second session, the Emarati driver slightly altered his set-up to the likings of the demanding Grand Prix circuit. A red flag situation at the end of the session prevented Azzam to improve his lap time on new tyres and saw him finish the day in 25th position, equaling the ninth position of all 15 WEC drivers.
Prior to Saturday's qualifying session, heavy rainfall hit the Spanish track, forcing all WEC Formula Renault 2.0 drivers to execute their quick lap as late as possible as the track gradually dried out. Unfortunately, Azzam made a small judgment error regarding the available time left in the final stages of the 30 minute session, and therefore couldn't maximize his efforts. As a result, the 17-year old driver had to settle for eighth and sixth position on the grid for the races on Sunday.
RACE 01 + 02
After having started the third race of his 2009 campaign with a solid getaway, Azzam soon experienced difficulties with his gearbox, resulting in a loss of several positions in the opening stages of the 16-lap race. As Azzam tried hard to work his way around the problem, he managed to regain some positions during the race but simply lost too much time accelerating out of the corners to really give the drivers ahead of him a run for their money. After 25 hard-fought laps, Azzam finished the race in ninth position.
In Sunday's second race, Azzam didn't come off to a good start at the treacherous wet tarmac and fell back three positions. Even though he set a string of staggering fast laps and worked his way up again, the numerous battles costed him too much time to have a go for a top result. Azzam eventually finished the second race in ninth position as well.
RAMEZ AZZAM: "I sincerely enjoyed both races, but should have ended a bit higher up the ranks if it wasn't for the technical problem on Sunday morning and a poor start in the afternoon. My goal for the next few races is to qualify a bit better, as it would make my life a lot easier in the races. I'm now heading for the team's workshop in La Rochelle in France before testing at Val de Viennes later this week as a preparation for our next WEC event."