RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE FOR 2009 IFM CHAMPION Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer clinched a record-breaking seventh win in today's round 15 of the International Formula Master Series (IFM), running unchallenged from a pole position...
RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE FOR 2009 IFM CHAMPION
Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer clinched a record-breaking seventh win in today's round 15 of the International Formula Master Series (IFM), running unchallenged from a pole position start.
The 2009 IFM champion secured his sixth pole of the year in this morning's qualifying session before leading the race from start to finish and breaking the record for the most victories in a Formula Master season.
JD Motorsport's Sergey Afanasiev raced to a second-place finish despite starting the race in sixth place. The young Russian climbed to fourth thanks to a strong start before passing team-mate Vladimir Arabadzhiev for third on lap two.
A retirement from second-placed man Pål Varhaug, driving for Jenzer Motorsport, on lap four then promoted Afanasiev to second place, which he kept until the chequered flag.
Arabadzhiev followed in third after defending his position from team-mate Josef Kral and Alexander Rossi for the majority of the race. The faultless performance allowed the Bulgarian to claim his fifth podium of the season.
Both Kral and Rossi stayed in position throughout the fight, finishing in fourth and fifth respectively. Having qualified second and sixth in this morning's session, both drivers were handed a five-place grid drop for not respecting the track limits at T13 having set their best sectors.
Iris Project's Patrick Reiterer followed in sixth place, ahead of ISR's Erik Janis, whilst fellow Iris Project driver Simon Trummer claimed the last point-scoring position in eighth. The Swiss driver will start tomorrow's season finale on pole position thanks to the Series' reverse grid regulation.
Afanasiev and Kral's respective performances in today's race ensured that the team-mates are now the only drivers able to fight for this year's runner-up spot in the drivers' standing whilst Rossi's top rookie finish means the young American is now leading the rookies' classification with just one round to go.
Race two takes place tomorrow, Sunday 20 September, and will be shown on Eurosport International from 11.30 (CET).
Fabio Leimer, Jenzer Motorsport "It was really important for me to get the seventh win; I really wanted to break Chris van der Drift's record. That's why it was really important to get a good qualifying and also a good start. I had a pretty good start; I was able to hold Pål [Varhaug] behind me. Then it was like every race, I was driving at the front, doing my own race and tried to be consistent as much as possible. In the end I was pretty fast and set the fastest time on the last lap.
"Now I can drive without pressure and it meant that today's race was a lot of fun. But it was still very important that I concentrate on the race and not make any mistakes.
"There are places where you can overtake here but not a lot. Last year I started eighth and finished third though so when you're pretty fast, it is possible to overtake and we will try to win the race. In Spa, I almost managed it but in the end the race was one or two laps too short for me to win so I will try again tomorrow. It's not easy in the shorter race as there is even less time to get to the front from eighth but we'll see!"
Sergey Afanasiev, JD Motorsport "The first few laps were the best part of the race for me and the fight with Vladimir [Arabadzhiev] was also fantastic. I didn't have a good qualifying so after that I had to do something as we are still fighting for championship positions. Most of my competitors were in front of me so I had to do my best during this race.
"Tomorrow is going to be a big race for the teams' classification, between Jenzer and JD Motorsport. I also know that Josef [Kral] is my main competitor for the runner-up spot now but in my mind he has been the main rival all season so it's something I have accepted and we'll see what happens. I'll definitely be fighting though as I want to be on the podium again tomorrow."
Vladimir Arabadzhiev, JD Motorsport "I had a pretty good start and was fighting with Varhaug but I think we touched and that unsettled my car a bit. After that it was really hard to stay on track and I didn't do well in the last corner. That meant that Sergey [Afanasiev] was faster than me and overtook me at the end of the straight.
"After that I had to just keep going and try to be fast, especially in the last sector, to keep my position."