MAIDEN IFM VICTORY FOR HITECH JUNIOR Hitech Junior Team's Kasper Andersen took the team's maiden International Formula Masters victory in round four at Valencia at the weekend. The Danish driver passed pole sitter Nicolas Maulini and his Hitech...
MAIDEN IFM VICTORY FOR HITECH JUNIOR
Hitech Junior Team's Kasper Andersen took the team's maiden International Formula Masters victory in round four at Valencia at the weekend. The Danish driver passed pole sitter Nicolas Maulini and his Hitech team-mate Alexander Rossi at the start and led all the way to the flag for his third IFM race victory.
After a superb fourth place in the last round in Pau, 17-year-old Rossi had hoped to build on the performance and was holding third place but was unfortunately taken out of a potential podium spot after a collision with Pal Varhaug. The reigning Formula BMW World Final Winner and Formula BMW Americas Champion recovered to finish 12th, matching the times of the lead cars.
The second event of the IFM season kicked off with qualifying on Saturday and netted the fourth and sixth time for the two drivers, with Andersen leading the way for the Silverstone-based team.
In the weekend's opening race, Andersen underlined his potential running as high as third before dropping back through the order and crossing the line sixth just ahead of Rossi. With a reverse grid for the top eight for Sunday's race, this result ensured they would line up second and third on the grid.
At the lights Andersen made a great start to leap ahead of Maulini and Rossi at the lights to take the lead into the first corner and was thereafter never headed as he went on to a six second advantage at the flag.
"It's great for the team and for me" said Kasper. "I've always done well here in Valencia but this win really means a lot to me as I had no testing at all with the team and went straight into the car in Pau after six months away from racing in the series. We worked hard and now we have a victory as a result. I had a great start, but I think we can still improve a lot, so we have to keep working and then we're going for it!"
Team Manager David Hayle was delighted with the team's result in only its second International Formula Masters race and quick to praise the performance of both drivers. "It was a great result for Kasper, he drove superbly in race two and once he'd got the lead was able to dominate the race from the front and build a healthy gap to second.
"Alexander could have secured a second podium finish for the team in third place had he not been taken out, as his lap times over the race were matching those of the lead cars so it's unfortunate for him that he was unable to join Kasper on the podium. The team worked hard over the course of the weekend and it's a great achievement to get a win in our first year in the series and only the second race weekend. Both drivers have shown great potential already and I'm sure they will continue this form into the next rounds."
The Hitech Junior Team will return to International Formula Masters in two weeks time at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic for rounds five and six.