Formula Master: Imola, Race 1. Imola, September 20, 2008 Race 1 No. 31 Harald Schlegelmilch, 6th No. 34 Esteban Gutierrez, 3rd Trident Racing entered the first race of the International Formula Master weekend today at Imola, taking two ...
Formula Master: Imola, Race 1.
Imola, September 20, 2008
No. 31 Harald Schlegelmilch, 6th
No. 34 Esteban Gutierrez, 3rd
Trident Racing entered the first race of the International Formula Master weekend today at Imola, taking two positive results: Harald Schlegelmilch ended up in 6th place at the end of a battling race, while rookie Esteban Gutierrez achieved a an impressive podium finish in his debut race at the revamped racetrack, leaving the crowd, the whole paddock and the team itself just astonished. Esteban and Harald shared row 3 at the start: the 17-year-old Mexican shown great class in moving up one spot, and even improved his position after a few corners, keeping third place and lapping consistently all the way to the end. Today`s debut has been really rewarding for Esteban and for all the Trident Racing staff, providing another confirmation of the team`s high competitive level. The weekend is set to come to an end tomorrow with Race 2 and, once again, Harald and Esteban will be able to aim at a podium spot.
"I didn`t carry any expectation here at Imola on a performance standpoint. I knew I would have faced a tough job in learning the track as well as a completely new car. The approach was good though, as I found an extremely positive feeling with both the team and the car, starting to discover limits lap by lap. I was not really lucky in qualifying, but I had a positive start that allowed me to move from 5th to 3rd place. I was really surprised since it was my first start with a steering wheel-controlled clutch: I have to say the tips i was given by Harald and my engineer proved really valuable. The race itself was pretty linear. I`m glad I didn`t have any problem with my physical preparation. The only issue happened in the closing stages, when I was running behind Vand Der Drift and I saw yellow flags exposed. In F.BMW races, if drivers don`t actually slow down they`re assessed penalties. The stewards are not so strict here, so I lost three seconds. It`s one of the many things I learned from this weekend but in the end I really have to thank the team. Third place is great, and I`m not even sure to have reached the car`s limit. My goal is now to repeat and take a podium spot tomorrow".
"After practice I expected a racetrack with a lot of passing opportunities, but during the race I almost immediately realized it wasn`t so. I had quite a good start, but at the end of the straight i got stuck in the battle among the cars I had in front. At that point I figured out that the only place to move on was at the end of the front-stretch, and I had to stay behind Ammermueller despite being actually faster. It was an intense race though, as I stayed in the ‘fight' all-day long and even managed to make a few good passes. I hope to perform well tomorrow, where I`ll count on a good starting spot. My team is doing a awesome job, and I`m confident I`ll have a nice shot to podium".