RACE REPORTS FROM DENMARK AND SWEDEN ENGSTROM STEPS ON PODIUM IN THE LAST STCC ROUND The ninth and the last round of the STCC Championship took place at Mantorp Park. Tomas' goal was clearly to be on the podium for the last race of...
RACE REPORTS FROM DENMARK AND SWEDEN
ENGSTROM STEPS ON PODIUM IN THE LAST STCC ROUND
The ninth and the last round of the STCC Championship took place at Mantorp Park.
Tomas' goal was clearly to be on the podium for the last race of the championship.
Everybody in the Team knew that it would be hard to get, but on the other side the driver and the car had the speed to reach their goal.
Qualifying -- Super pole
" After the usual tests' sessions, I felt I could be in the top 4 during the qualifying."says Engstrom "As it happened in all races, the fight to be in the top 8 giving access to the Super Pole, was very disputed and tight. From the very start of the session, I pushed to my maximum and I finished 3rd. I was very happy to once again take part in the Super Pole. Indeed, I was taking part in all Super Pole's sessions this season except one!"
But nevertheless, Tomas was unhappy with the balance of his car. He knew it will be difficult to get the pole position in such conditions.
Because of these less than perfect settings, Tomas made a small mistake in the chicane and it cost him a few tenths. He ended up in 7th position.
" I was not satisfy with this result, but the Team immediately reacted and make some adjustments to supply me with the best car for the race."
Tomas started 7th on the grid surrounded by some Audis and there was a real fight on for their places. From the start, the Honda driver tried to overtake them pushing hard but it was an impossible mission!
"After three laps, I finally overtook T.Bjork on Audi. The next I passed was R.Dahlgren on Volvo."explains Tomas "Ranked in 5th position, I was chasing Ekblom (Audi) and Rosenblad (BMW) when I felt something strange with the car. I called my Team and they asked me to come in to have a pit stop. My mechanics carried out the best pit stop of the season (only 9''). Absolutely great! I came back onto the track just behind Bjork again! The problem I felt was gone. (We were lucky this time as the thing which was going wrong, was a puncture in the front right tire). I did a great run during 40 long minutes getting the very best out of my Honda. I crossed the line in 3rd position."
"I am very happy that we can end the season with a podium place."concludes Engstrom "What a race! What a fight!
Everything was perfect: the race strategy, the pit stop and the car.
I want to thank my Team for a great job done over the whole season. All together, we showed that we have our place in the top of STCC.
Many thanks to Honda and JAS Motorsport for trusting in my team and myself.
I think we gave a good image of Honda in one of the most competitive championship in Europe".
DOUBLE ROUND IN DENMARK
The Saturday at Padborg Park was one of the most difficult race days we had during this whole season.
In fact, our Honda N29 was badly damaged in a crash. Martin Jensen was very unlucky and could not do anything about the accident he was involved in. He was certainly not the one at fault in this case.
The race N7 was over and the whole team had to work very hard to repair the car and be ready to take part to the Sunday event.
Hans Hartmann comments: " I am proud to say that it is a winning team that fixed the car ! It was a race against the clock and we did it!"
The eighth round of the Danish Touring Car Championship took place at Padborg Park and it had a better outcome for Hartmann Racing.
H.Hartmann comments: "Thanks to the hard and efficient work of the Team, the two cars were ready for the race on Sunday morning.
But it didn't totally go our way all the time!
During the free practice session on Sunday morning, the engine of N29 blew up! Once again, our mechanics had to perform a miracle. The new engine was fixed in 1 hour and 20 minutes!"
Both cars took part in the first qualifying session. Nevertheless, again it started badly for Martin Jensen. In the second lap, his car stopped after the chicane. Martin had to fix his car by himself there and then. He quickly found that the problem was a connector, that was not attached properly.
Only 12 minutes were left for them to make 15th place and participate in the second part of qualifying and they did it ! Martin took the 4th place and Jens the 12th.
In qualifying N2, Martin got the 5th place and Jens the 12th, but he was penalized for having touched the chicane. He dropped to15th place.
The last part of qualifying was very exciting. Martin had a big fight with Jan Magnussen for the Pole Position. Twice Martin got pole position during the session, but Magnussen had the final word and Martin finished third.
Hans Hartmann says: "Given the start we had, Martin lost some places, but he managed to gain back some places and finished in 3rd place.
Jens was also running fast, but be got a penalty for a jumpstart (we saw later on TV that nothing was wrong). Jens also collected two penalties for having touched the chicane again.He finished in 20th place."
Martin started 3rd and Jens 20th. The back wheel driven cars were quicker at the start and gained some places but the Honda drivers were really intent on having a fight and they did well as Martin crossed the line in 4th place while Jens climbed to the 15th position.
" The gods were against us this week-end! Our bad luck was surreal, but the Team was fantastic. Lots of miracles happened on the track and in the pit box. We had a very positive feedback particularly from the journalists who could see us first suffering in the garage and then, succeeding on the track!
See you in 15 days for the DM Final at Jyllands Ringen."concludes the team manager Hans Hartmann