SOLID POINTS FOR RAMEZ AZZAM AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS FRANCORCHAMPS, JUNE 06 2009 - Ramez Azzam (UAE) looks back at the fifth round of the Western European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend with mixed emotions. After having...
SOLID POINTS FOR RAMEZ AZZAM AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
FRANCORCHAMPS, JUNE 06 2009 - Ramez Azzam (UAE) looks back at the fifth round of the Western European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend with mixed emotions. After having matched his season-best qualifying result (P5) on Thursday afternoon, the SG Driver's Project Team driver suffered from technical trouble and a driver error on Friday's first race, but bounced back strong in Saturday's second race by finishing in fifth position. By adding another valuable six points to his championship tally, Azzam currently holds the seventh position in the standings.
FREE PRACTISES AND QUALIFYING
With the "12 hours of Spa-Francorchamps" being scheduled on from Saturday afternoon, the fifth round of the Western European Cup (WEC) Formula Renault 2.0 got off to an early start on Thursday with the running of two 25 minutes free practice sessions. As several drivers had already tested at the Belgian Grand Prix track as part of their pre-season preparation for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign, Ramez Azzam had some catching up to do at the legendary 7.004 kilometer long circuit. In Thursday afternoon's qualifying session however, Azzam got the best out of himself and equaled his season-best fifth starting position (Nogaro, FRA) for both races.
RACE 01 & 02
Having lined up fifth on the grid for Friday's opening race, Azzam already experienced problems with his clutch ahead of the start of the race. After he engaged first gear and tried to release the clutch, his clutch did not move however, resulting in a loss of several positions at the moment the lights went out. Eager to make up lost ground, Azzam charged hard in the opening stage of the 12 lap race. After a series of quick laps in which he regained some places, Azzam suddenly lost the control of his car in the fourth lap in Pouhon, a blindingly fast double lefthander, and clipped the tyre barriers backwards. Although his car was not damaged that badly, he was forced to retire on the spot.
Targeting a positive end of the weekend, Azzam was keen to take fifth place on the grid again for Saturday's second race. After a reasonable start, Azzam tried to out brake his team mate Jean-Eric Vergne for fourth position in the tight La Source hairpin, but the Frenchman got a better exit and maintained his position. Struggling a bit with the balance of his car, the Emirati driver had to settle for fifth position for a number of laps, before Carlos Munoz' car broke down ahead of him with an engine failure. Azzam couldn't enjoy this gift for long however as Spanish driver Miki Monras soon closed the gap on him and passed him in the closing stages of the 30 minutes race. By finishing in fifth position, Azzam still netted another six points.
RAMEZ AZZAM: "It's a shame we experienced the problem with the clutch in Friday's race, as I expected to be competitive. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Saturday's race and especially the fights with my team mates Jean- Eric Vergne at the start and Miki Monras later on. Finishing in fifth position is acceptable and brings in quite a nice amount of points again. Next stop is Budapest, where we will compete in the support program of the World Series by Renault in a fortnight. I'm looking forward to that event and hope to capitalize on this weekend's form and progress!"
ABOUT RAMEZ AZZAM
Ramez Azzam (July 09 1991) is one of United Arab Emirates most promising racing drivers. After having started his motorsport career at the Dubai Kartdrome in 2007, Azzam soon stepped up to Formula Campus, before graduating to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2008. In 2009 the Dubai based talented youngster eyes success in the Western European Cup (WEC) Formula Renault 2.0 together with his renowned SG Driver's Project team.