Happy Birthday Patrick - P4, P5 race for Tudor's Huisman and Williams at Valencia It was extremely hot at the seaside Valencian track and the team had decided to reflect the summer mood by installing a swimming pool in the team's garage to...
Happy Birthday Patrick - P4, P5 race for Tudor's Huisman and Williams at Valencia
It was extremely hot at the seaside Valencian track and the team had decided to reflect the summer mood by installing a swimming pool in the team's garage to improve the drivers' enjoyment. This weekend was especially important as on Sunday, Supercup record winner 42-year-old Patrick Huisman celebrated his birthday and turns 43. He just missed the podium in the race, finishing in 4th position. Rene Rast (Veltins MRS Racing) finished in 1st, followed by Jeroen Bleekemolen (Konrad Motorsport) and Lance David Arnold in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Richard Williams, 31, finished in 5th place.
The temperature during both free practice and qualifying had gone as high as 28-30o. C, making it easy for the drivers to use the pool after each session. The two drivers sponsored by Tudor, Patrick Huisman and Richard Williams (SPS Performance), were respectively ranked 6th and 11th during free practice.
In Saturday's qualifying both took part in the second session. New rules in the battle for pole position in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup mean that there are now two qualifying sessions with only the fastest ten drivers taking part in an exciting shoot-out, even though for this round there were only 13 total drivers entered.
Both Huisman and Williams competed to set the fastest lap in the first 25 minutes. In the second part, after a five-minute break, they also were part of the top ten on the time sheet and could go out on the track to spend the next 15 minutes fighting for the top ten grid positions. Huisman ended up 9th (2:11.113) and Williams was 10th (2:11.196).
After a good start there were a lot of exciting battles in the 14-lap race and Cunil managed to pass Williams. Meanwhile, Huisman was pushing hard and his wily experience resulted in an eventual 4th place.
Pole-sitter Rast (Veltins MRS Racing), who led throughout said: "When it works, it really works: my fourth straight pole position and fourth win. It's a great feeling, even if my fastest lap was not that good. Yesterday, in qualifying, I wanted to stop and try again but decided to keep going. Funnily enough it then turned out to be good enough for pole and perfect for the race. We had a bit of luck and it is just a great weekend now."
Tudor driver Patrick Huisman said, "It was difficult when we started on Friday, because I had a problem with the rear of the car when we were braking and we lost 80 per cent efficiency. I tried different solutions, but we solved the problems for qualifying. We were in the top-ten. We wanted to be a bit higher, but there was nothing I could do because of the heat." That didn't stop Huisman for giving it his all in the race. "In the race I was aggressive and made a strong start and everything worked well. I am pleased for the team's 3rd place on the podium with Lance David Arnold. It was a great day for us all."
As for Richard Williams, he started on Friday at a reasonable pace, trying to understand the difficult street track that he had never seen before. He said, "My aim was not to make any mistakes and I am pretty satisfied with 11th place. For qualifying I was aiming to be in the top six, I got 10th. I was a bit disappointed, but what is important is the race. In the race I was losing a bit so I slowed down not to risk anything. To finish 3rd, 4th and 5th in the same team shows that we have recovered. See you in Spa- almost a home race for us!"
Free Practice: Patrick Huisman (P7- 2:12.117); Richard Williams (P11 2:12.278)
Qualifying: Patrick Huisman (P9 2:11.113 Q1 and 2:11.240 in Q2); Richard Williams (P10 2:11.196 in Q1 and 2:11.299 in Q2)
Race P11: Patrick Huisman P4; Richard Williams P5
Round ten of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup takes place in Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of 28-30 August 2009.