ROSSI RACES TO SPA VICTORY ISR's Alexander Rossi stormed to his second win of the season today in the twelfth round of the International Formula Master (IFM) Series at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Starting fourth, the young ...
ROSSI RACES TO SPA VICTORY
ISR's Alexander Rossi stormed to his second win of the season today in the twelfth round of the International Formula Master (IFM) Series at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Starting fourth, the young American was up to second as the field of IFM single-seaters charged through the first corner, before the safety car was deployed following an incident on the grid.
IFM Talent Support Program (TSP) driver Alexander Sims had been left stranded on his P3 slot as the lights went out, with AR Motorsport's Kelvin Snoeks unable to avoid him, resulting in three laps of safety car period.
Rossi took the lead of the race a lap after the restart, racing to the chequered flag unchallenged, despite a strong drive from Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer who finished the 12-lap race less than a second behind.
Having started eighth after winning yesterday's race, Leimer fought his way through the field to second place, overtaking five drivers in as many laps. Time ran out before he could catch the leader however, although the Swiss secured an extra point by setting the fastest lap of the race in 2:13.513.
ISR's Erik Janis claimed his share of overtaking in this morning's unrelenting round, climbing from fifth to the last podium-finish position in third, ahead Sergey Afanasiev. A loose front wing could have scuppered the JD Motorsport driver's chance of scoring points early on in the race but the Russian held on to fourth place until the chequered flag.
Pole position starter Pål Varhaug kept the lead for four laps before losing out to Rossi at the restart. A strong drive saw the Jenzer Motorsport racer finish in fifth place, ahead of Cram Competition's Frankie Provenzano who claimed the last point-finish position in sixth place.
Leimer is now just one point away from clinching the 2009 IFM championship with 80 points, ahead of Afanasiev and Kral with 45 and 43 points respectively. Varhaug still leads the rookies' classification with 81 points ahead of Rossi (75 points).
IFM's 2009 season continues next weekend at the Oschersleben circuit in Germany for the penultimate event of the year with rounds 13 and 14. Both races will be broadcasted on the pan-European channel Eurosport.
Alexander Rossi, ISR
"I had a good start with Alexander [Sims] dropping out; I could focus on passing Josef [Kral] quickly. Then the safety car was out for three laps and I worked very hard to keep the tyres and brakes as warm as possible. I had a very good restart; I was able to get the lead straight away and we almost had a 1-2 for the team but getting both cars in the top three is pretty great too."
Fabio Leimer, Jenzer Motorsport
"It was a really nice race; a bit different from my other Sunday races because normally I'm not able to overtake other drivers so easily but here in Spa you can use the long straights. My start was not very good but it wasn't too bad either; I think I lost one position but got it back after the first corner.
"At the restart, I got stuck behind Tiago [Petiz] as he was braking very late so I couldn't overtake. I lost a lot of time behind Sergey [Afanasiev] too but in the end my car was really fast, I closed the gap in one or two laps and was passing someone on each lap! I'm pretty happy although I would have loved to win the race as I only needed one more point to get the championship!"
Erik Janis, ISR
"It was quite a good race although the start was quite tight for me; I had to squeeze past a lot of cars! I was worried about my front wing for a while but it was ok in the end. Then I just concentrated on the racing. My tyres were quite ok after the safety car period and I could overtake Pål [Varhaug].
"When Leimer started to attack though, I was already quite slow through the right-hand corners as my tyres had gone a bit so he was able to pass me easily once he'd got the slipstream. After that I focused on keeping P3 to finish on the podium and bring as many points to the team as possible."