Anthem for Chris van der Drift in Oschersleben Oschersleben, 26 August 2007 -- Thanks to a second place and a well deserved win this weekend, Chris van der Drift has moved into second place overall in the International Formula Master...
Anthem for Chris van der Drift in Oschersleben
Oschersleben, 26 August 2007 -- Thanks to a second place and a well deserved win this weekend, Chris van der Drift has moved into second place overall in the International Formula Master championship. The 21 year-old driver, now living in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, also proved his talent by qualifying fastest and taking pole position for the first race. While he was unable to convert pole into a race win, this was more than made up by a win in the International Formula Master feature race on Sunday, after he passed his direct competition one by one.
The actual race-weekend began as a nightmare for Van der Drift, as in the first Friday test session he had to deal with a blown motor. He had to forgo the rest of this session and the weekend's first official practice session while a new motor was fitted. It was only in the very late afternoon (6pm) that he was able to get behind the wheel of his race-car in the second official practice session with a brand-new motor. As the JD Motorsport driver hadn't been able to do many practice laps on a dry track, Saturday morning's qualifying was going to be a huge unknown.
Fortunately though, the Chris van der Drift we know was back once again proving his talents. In the half hour Saturday morning qualifying session he made his mark by producing the quickest lap and being awarded pole for the weekend's first race. Being able to start Saturday's race from pole was a great bonus, Van der Drift leading the race for the first 16 laps until championship leader Jerome d'Ambrosio was able to get by him in turn one, Van der Drift having to be content with second place at the end of the race 5 laps later. Under the championship rules, the first eight finishers of race one have their grid positions for race two reversed meaning that Van der Drift would begin Sunday's race from grid seven.
With a fantastic start in the Sunday morning race, Van der Drift was immediately up to fifth position by turn one. With calculated thinking, Van der Drift was patient until lap 9 overtaking Marcello Puglisi, then 2 laps later Pierre Ragues, and now in third place, searched for an opportunity to once again attack. This came in lap 18 and within 2 corners he was in front. Within a lap he had opened a gap of nearly 2 seconds on Luca Persiani, and by the end of the race the gap to second placed Marcello Puglisi was 14.5seconds!
Chris van der Drift : "This gives me the chance to forget all the problems I have had this year. It was a fantastic race in which I could catch and pass each one of the drivers in front of me one by one. It was difficult in the first race as my engine was really fresh and I was missing about five kilometres per hour on the straights. But the more I drove, the better it went. The second race was great and I am very pleased with my second victory in International Formula Master. There is a reasonable gap in points to the championship leader, but nothing is impossible! Thanks heaps to my team, especially my mechanic Alberto and my engineer Jones! It's been a great weekend."
The next race weekend of 22-23 September will be held at Brands Hatch, England, for the seventh round of the International Formula Master championship.
Chris van der Drift is proud to be one of New Zealand motor racing's Black Bullets. To find out more about our Black Bullets go to www.blackbullets.com