TUDOR'S HUISMAN'S HOPE FOR POINTS LOST IN THE SPIN Less than a month after the Konrad Motorsport Team race-win for Nicholas Tandy and his teammate, Tudor-sponsored, Patrick Huisman's points-scoring seventh place, the pair was on duty again this...
TUDOR'S HUISMAN'S HOPE FOR POINTS LOST IN THE SPIN
Less than a month after the Konrad Motorsport Team race-win for Nicholas Tandy and his teammate, Tudor-sponsored, Patrick Huisman's points-scoring seventh place, the pair was on duty again this past weekend. Weather conditions, though, were very different for the ninth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup held at the seven kilometre-long Spa Circuit during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend in Spa-Francorchamps.
The Spa weather showed all usual late-summer changeability of the Ardennes: a mix of heavy rainsqualls, sunny periods and cool temperatures hovering around 13 degrees Celsius. In the end the race was conducted in unexpectedly dry conditions. Sean Edwards and Rene Rast started from the first row of the grid, Edwards going on to win the ninth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Spa with relative ease from Rast and Jaap van Lagen. While Edwards enjoyed a nine second advantage over Rast, the next four finishers were separated by just three, proving the intensity of competition as the series heads into its final showdown at Monza.
Patrick Huisman failed to post points this weekend after securing a promising grid position. Tandy's sixth place finish, though, helped keep Konrad Motorsport firmly in second place in the overall Team Standings some 64 points behind Al Faisal Lechner and 25 points ahead of VELTINS MRS.
At the outset of the weekend at the legendary Belgian racetrack, Huisman was quick and at the front. A promising second place in first practice gave him early confidence. Huisman was unable to capitalise, however, and eventually finished qualifying in a disappointing ninth while pole went to Edwards. Second on the starting grid was the current leader of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Driver's Standings, Rene Rast. Huisman's colleague Tandy, the leading rooky driver, was down in sixteenth. Race conditions were not unduly problematic and it provided some limited windows of opportunity for those in phase.
Initially, Tudor-sponsored Huisman started well climbing two spots to seventh. Disaster struck on the fifth lap of the race when a spinout following contact with another car led to an unscheduled pit stop, loss of momentum and, despite a strong effort to recover, an effective end to any chances of culling some valuable championship points.
Post-race, an obviously frustrated, Huisman commented, "I was hoping that the work invested by the team in our Monza testing session after Hungary would pay off. But with wet weather the whole weekend the racing proved a lottery.
Huisman went on to explain how his Spa experience unravelled, "we had a good set-up despite red flags disrupting our practice sessions. I improved on the first lap of qualifying, but was hampered with a bad set of tyres and zero grip. I was certainly hoping for a better race. I had a good start, made up two positions and then I spun on my fifth lap after contact with Bleekemolen's car. I only just made it back to the pits with a damaged right front wheel.
Always looking for a positive, Huisman, accepted it had been just one of those weekends when nothing works, "the car was fine and we had the car to be on the podium. Nothing went right though. I am disappointed for my fans, but be prepared for a better race in Monza. I aim to defend my ninth position in the Driver's Standings and the Konrad Motorsport team's second position in the Team Standings by working to increase our 190 points!
Race-winner Edwards commented, "it was an unexpectedly dry race and a fantastic result here in Spa. My aim was the win after our second place in Hungary, so I achieved our goal and I am very happy for the team. Both qualifying and the race result were perfect. Hard work paid off and we have progressed a lot this year. I am really pleased for the team to score some good points and progress in the Championship. This weekend, we started from pole and we've left nothing to chance. Let's see what the last race in Monza can bring us.
Second-placed Rast remarked, "I'm happy with second place, the third of a season where I have also scored four wins and two DNFs that I want to forget! In Spa, I started from the front row and there was not much I could change during the race. Sean Edwards drove strongly. I earned 16 points this race and that brings my tally to 138 points. I am leading the Championship and the team is also leading the team's championship with 254 points.
The final race of the series will be in Monza, Italy, on 12 September.