IFM: Series Spa race one report

LEIMER BACK ON TOP STEP Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer clinched his fifth win of the season today in front of the Formula 1 crowds for round 11 of the International Formula Master Series at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Having...

LEIMER BACK ON TOP STEP

Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer clinched his fifth win of the season today in front of the Formula 1 crowds for round 11 of the International Formula Master Series at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

Having qualified on pole position in this morning's session, the Swiss lost the lead briefly to IFM Talent Support Program (TSP) driver Alexander Sims after a poor start. Leimer was back in front before the race's first lap was completed however, and raced to the finish line unchallenged.

JD Motorsport's Sergey Afanasiev secured second place from a P6 grid position, after a strong start saw the Russian racer move up to fourth. Afanasiev promptly overtook Iris Project's Simon Trummer for second place before giving chase to Leimer, but the gap to the leader remained for the rest of the race.

Trummer held on to second place for the first three of the 12-lap round before Afanasiev's move, and crossed the finish line in third to collect his and team Iris Project's first podium of the season.

Starting eighth, ISR's Erik Janis made up three places on lap one before passing Sims for fourth, where he remained until the chequered flag. Fellow ISR driver Alexander Rossi followed in fifth place after a difficult start saw the young American move down to P6. Rossi was able to salvage a position however, achieved by passing Sims shortly after his team-mate had done so.

Sims secured sixth place despite strong pressure from JD Motorsport's Josef Kral, claiming the highest TSP finish, whilst Kral claimed seventh. Jenzer Motorsport's Pål Varhaug took the last point-finishing position in eighth place and will start tomorrow's race on pole position.

Current classification leader Leimer extended his lead to 32 points ahead of Kral thanks to today's win as well as scoring a point for pole position and setting the fastest lap in the race. Varhaug continues to lead in the Rookies' Classification, ahead of Rossi.

Race two takes place tomorrow, Sunday 30 August, and will be shown on Eurosport International from 08.30 (CET).

Fabio Leimer, Jenzer Motorsport
"I had a lot of wheel spin at the start and saw that Patrick [Reiterer] was close to overtaking me but then I saw that he had a jump start. Sims passed me early on but I got the place back as soon as I started pushing properly. The rest of the race was good, the car was really good; I lifted a little bit towards the end to look after the tyres and make sure I could finish but that's all.

"I'm pretty happy because our first race with Formula 1, at the Hungaroring, I didn't score a win but now I've been able to do it here, so I'm pretty pleased!

"For tomorrow, it's a lot easier to overtake here compared to other tracks we race at, like Brands Hatch or Budapest. There are many long straights, which you can use to pass when you catch someone else's slipstream. As long as the car is as perfect as it was today, I will aim for another podium."

Sergey Afanasiev, JD Motorsport
"I was quite slow in the beginning and had to fight with Erik [Janis] and Josef [Kral] but I managed to find a gap to fourth place. It took a while to move to second place, I was waiting for Alexander [Sims] and Simon [Trummer] to make mistakes so I could pass them. In the end I got both but I couldn't catch Fabio [Leimer].

"We'll see for tomorrow; we're improving throughout the weekend so who knows!"

Simon Trummer, Iris Project
"My start was ok; I was able to catch Alexander [Rossi] for third place but Sergey [Afanasiev] was pushing to pass me really early on. I was faster in the quick corners but he definitely had more speed on the straights. When he closed the gap to me on the straight, I had no chance to block him.

"After that, the back of my car was sliding quite a bit so I worked against that but I finished on the podium for the first time here so it's a great result!"

-credit: ifm

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Erik Janis , Fabio Leimer , Josef Kral , Alexander Rossi , Alexander Sims , Pal Varhaug , Simon Trummer
Teams Jenzer Motorsport