Mixed emotions in Brno Donald Molenaar 14th, Duncan couldn't profit from a good result in race one. Mixed emotions for the Carly Motors team after round 4 of the European Touringcar Championship on the warm and sunny "Automotodrom Brno" in ...
Mixed emotions in Brno
Donald Molenaar 14th, Duncan couldn't profit from a good result in race one.
Mixed emotions for the Carly Motors team after round 4 of the European Touringcar Championship on the warm and sunny "Automotodrom Brno" in the Czech Republic. With a good 9th qualifying result for Duncan Huisman on Saturday and a brilliant first race on Sunday in which Duncan finished 6th, the 2002 Dutch National Champion started race two from a 3rd position. Donald Molenaar replaced the leader in the Michelin Independents Trophy, Tom Coronel, during the ETCC race in Brno this weekend. Tom who is committed to two race series this season will race his Team Mugen Honda NSX at the SUGA circuit in Japan. Molenaar qualified his Carly Motors BMW 320i on a 16th position. Donald, who raced for Carly Motors in the Dutch National Championship in 2002, is driving for the Carly -Schubert Motorsport team in the German Touringcar championship this season. "Of course I am delighted to race in the ETCC this weekend. It will be all new for me. A car that I never raced, a new circuit and a new championship will be the factors I have to deal with" said Donald, days before he left for Brno.
Qualifying on Saturday: Duncan P9, Donald P16
During the qualification session Duncan Huisman took a 9th position on the grid for the first race. As first Independent driver and 6th BMW, Duncan's best qualifying result this season provided enough changes for a satisfying race result. "It seemed that my car didn't go as fast as I expected. There are some long straights in the circuit so there you need the speed. But the balance and set-up of the car is good and that is an advantage here in Brno."
For Donald Molenaar the track and the car were totally new." In the first free practise session I tried to get to know the track and the car. The setup was not the priority in that first session. In the second free practise session I worked on the setup of the car and I drove the same lap- times as the first session. The other cars were a little bit slower so you could say that I improved in that session. I started the qualification session on used tyres and I felt that the changes that we made to the setup worked out well. Later, on new tyres, I was 1.8 seconds faster than the first free practise. A 16th grid position was the best I could get out of the session."
Starting from a 9th position, Duncan had a great start. "I came out of the first corner on a 7th position. I tried to overtake Priaulx but he didn't give me as much space as I expected and lost my mirror in that action. I couldn't keep my position and Priaulx took back the 8th position from me. Then Balzan overtook me and I had to proceed the race on a 10th position." While BMW works driver Jörg Müller, was fighting with two Alfa's, Duncan profited from that situation. "Because of the clash between Jörg Müller and an Larini I could get to the 7th position. Later I overtook Balzan after I was pushing him for a few laps. A 6th position in race one is a very good result for both me and the Carly Motors Team" After a disqualification of Jörg Müller because of his clash with Larini, Duncan got the 5th ranking for race one.
For Donald the first race was not successful. "I had a great start. After 200 meters I was near Rydell and Diefenbacher. A clash between me and Diefenbacher damaged my steering axle so I had to stop the race. The Marshals put my car on a truck but didn't bring it to the right pitbox and didn't want to load it off the truck. The Carly Motors Team tried to repair the damage on the truck. After a lot of hassle the team was able to unload the car from the truck and I was just in time to start the second race from the pitlane."
In race two, where Duncan could start from a 3rd position since the first 8 finishing positions are converted and are forming the starting grid for race 2, Duncan had a great start. "During the start I already passed Gabriele Tarquini when I was hit at the back of my car by Balzan. The rear axle of my car was damaged and I had to stop the race.
For Donald, starting the second race from the pitlane, the race was not as exiting as he expected it to be before the weekend. "Of course I wanted to do some good things here for the Carly Motors Team and try to avoid that the other independent drivers collect too many points while Tom is not racing here this weekend. Unfortunately I couldn't do more than finishing 14th in the second race.
Tom Coronel who will be racing the rest of the season with Carly Motors in the ETCC is still leading the Independents trophy with 48 points, followed by Fabio Francia with 47 points. Duncan is Third in that ranking with 40 points.
Next race: Donnington Park (UK), june 29th 2003