FIRST 2009 WIN FOR KRAL AT HUNGARORING JD Motorsport's Josef Kral clinched his first win of the season today in front of the Formula 1 teams for round nine of the International Formula Master Series (IFM) at the Hungaroring in...
FIRST 2009 WIN FOR KRAL AT HUNGARORING
JD Motorsport's Josef Kral clinched his first win of the season today in front of the Formula 1 teams for round nine of the International Formula Master Series (IFM) at the Hungaroring in Hungary.
Starting first on the grid after securing his first IFM pole position yesterday, Kral led the race from start to finish to score his and JD Motorsport's first win this year.
Despite a good start, Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer was unable to pass the young Czech and settle for a second-place finish, earning his fifth podium of the season. ISR's Alexander Rossi enjoyed an equally strong start, passing TSP's Earl Bamber on the first lap to take third.
Fourth place was secured by fellow Talent Support Programme Alexander Sims who also overtook Bamber, making his move on lap 14. Starting seventh, the young British driver showed solid pace throughout his first IFM race and could have challenged Rossi for a podium-finish had the race lasted longer than the planned 17 laps.
Bamber eventually finished fifth, ahead of AR Motorsport's Paul Meijer who secured sixth place on his IFM Racing debut, despite JD Motorsport's Sergey Afanasiev's best efforts to pass him. Afanasiev took the chequered flag in seventh and will start tomorrow's race on the first row, alongside ISR's Erik Janis who secured round nine's pole position by finishing in eighth place today.
Newcomer Samuele Buttarelli, racing under the Talent Support Programme, drove a solid race to secure 10th place from a 15th slot on the grid.
Kral is now second in the Drivers' Classification thanks to today's victory, along with a point for setting the race's fastest lap in 1:39.067. Leimer still leads with 59 points, with Kral on 40 points. Pål Varhaug remains the leader in the Rookies' Classication, with Rossi only 10 points behind.
Race two takes place tomorrow, Sunday 26 July, and will be shown on Eurosport International from 22:30 (CET).
Josef Kral, JD Motorsport
"I had a fantastic start; it was the main thing to get right for today's race because you can't really overtake here. After that I was struggling with the brakes for the first few laps and the track was really slippery, but then I found a really good balance with the brakes and the car felt much better.
"I started to push really hard and focused on doing very constant laps in the 1mins39s for the next six laps so that I could pull away. I kept to those times to make a gap to Fabio [Leimer] and that was it! The car felt really good; it's the first time it is 100% on set-up.
"Tomorrow I start eighth but that's the kind of race I really enjoy so I will do everything possible to overtake and get to the front!"
Fabio Leimer, Jenzer Motorsport
"The start was really important for me; I wanted to overtake Josef [Kral] but he also had a very good start. The first three or four laps were really slippery but I could see that he had the same problem. I was a little bit quicker than him at the beginning so thought I might be able to overtake him but I lost a bit of time in the last corner of each lap so it wasn't possible to get him on the straight.
"After a few laps, he was going faster and faster so I concentrated on holding my second place. We had some problems in the set-up yesterday and definitely improved today but it's still not perfect."
Alexander Rossi, ISR
"The start hasn't been my strongest point so far this season so I spent a lot of time working on the technique and it worked really well today. I got by Earl [Bamber] and then in the opening laps, I got close to Fabio [Leimer] and thought I would be able to pass him but we weren't able to keep the pace.
"I'm definitely aiming for a podium tomorrow; I'm starting sixth and it is difficult to pass but I feel I have to make up the points I lost earlier in the season so two podiums this weekend would go a long way in improving that."