Superleague Formula Scuderia Playteam SaraFree had a hard first round under Zolder rains Scuderia Playteam Sarafree started the first race of the third weekend Superleague Formula race at Zolder (Belgium) with its cars seventh and eleventh on...
Superleague Formula Scuderia Playteam SaraFree had a hard first round under Zolder rains
Scuderia Playteam Sarafree started the first race of the third weekend Superleague Formula race at Zolder (Belgium) with its cars seventh and eleventh on the grid. It was a tough 44 minutes race under constant and regular rain, the first time of the weekend for the cars to be on a wet track. Race one of the two event round had a compulsory pit stop between the 8 and 20th lap.
Unfortunately Robert Doornbos - AC Milan car had a short race with the Dutchman not finishing the first lap going straight into the gravel bed in the first minutes of the first race. Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) carried the flag for the Scuderia and held onto his 11th position.
In the end though Alessandro Pier Guidi driving the Galatasaray SK car also did not finish the race. Guidi was running in 12th place after SC Sevilla went off and blocked the track and managed a trouble free first part of the race. Towards the end of the race, though, he was not able to hold off the fierce attacks by Flamengo and Olympiacos. As the rain got stronger, on one of the last corners of lap 19, Pier Guidi went off and could not restart.
Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) commented: "Overall the weekend was ... well," paused and continued in a more analytical manner. "The start of the first race occurred under constant rain on the wet track.
"Conditions were wet, but not as wet as Donington. Just constantly wet and a bit different from last weekend where I won the first race. Unfortunately I followed Davide Rigon in the car from Beijing Guoan, the current leader of the championship, and also went straight off in the first corner ending up too deep in the gravel bed. Of course, I am bitterly disappointed. But at least I did not do any damage to the car so the mechanics will be able to have it ready for race 2. The good side of it is that I'll start race 2 from pole!"
Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) added: "I had a decent start despite the water and the visibility that was really poor. There was virtually no possibility of overtaking on this narrow track. I was pleased because the car was well set up, but I did not know what to expect on the rain tires front. Then as Sevilla went off against the barrier the safety car was out on lap 5. I found myself a bit surprised to be on the track with the tow truck. At that point of a race the safety car is not welcome because our tires quickly get cool off with a temperature this low quickly becoming dangerous. This is a worrying situation to be in. I was just hoping that the water temperature would not get too cold. The safety car went in on lap 8 which would leave 25 minutes of racing ahead of us. We decided to pit right after the safety car came in, on lap 9. It was becoming more slippery and more cars went off: Kaspar Andersen - Olympiacos, and Tuka Rocha - Flamengo both spun and we had to be careful. After my pit stop, I rejoined in 13th place and was still on the track with a pace of 1.42.223 that was quicker than my previous fast lap 1.43.479 and I was now progressing to 11th place. With 11 minutes to go Tuka Rocha passed me and then went off through the chicane and lost the advantage. Behind him Kasper Andersen (Olympiacos) was pushing as well. The rain was coming down stronger and some more cars went off in a dangerous place and I suffered the same fate. After that the safety car was out but my race was over."
Both Scuderia Playteam Sarafree AC Milan and Galatasaray SK cars finish in race two at Zolder
Alessandro Pier Guidi Galatasaray SK Pier finish 12th Robert Doornbos AC Milan finish 4th
Scuderia Playteam SaraFree started the second Superleague Formula race at Zolder starting from pole and third row respectively for Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) and Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) after the grid was reversed following the morning race. Again the compulsory pit stop in this 44 minutes long race was programmed in the window of laps 8 and 20.
Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) finished the race in a respectable fourth place, adding additional points to his current score of 90 points this afternoon. Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) finished in 12th , also adding additional points that takes him higher in the championship.
Robert Doornbos driving AC Milan car had a hard time maintaining his advantage ahead of Beijing Guaon who passed him right after the start. Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) started from six maintaining this position into lap 2 as the safety car came out for the first time of the session after an accident in the pack. The safety car came in after five long laps and the race restarted. After the restart Guidi (Galatasaray SK) spun and lost his advantage in third line to a 15th place.
Both cars drove a competitive race from their positions on the reversed grid.
Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) commented: "I was lucky to have my car ready at the start considering the damage that we had after my flying off on Rigons wheel in race 1. But I am not afraid to tell you that this was the worst ever race weekend for me. However, I want to thank my mechanics and engineers and all the team. Everyone did a fantastic job and in record time. I could not stop Rigon from passing me in the first lap. Then the safety car was in front of us for five laps. After the restart I did not stop AS Roma and Olympiacos. But Kasper Andersen (Olympiacos) spun and finally I was third behind Beijing and AS Roma. Beijing was already eight seconds ahead of us. We decided against a very early pit stop and waited until lap 16. Toccacello in AS Roma pitted on lap 14 and Beijing on lap 16. That brought me in the lead for a few turns, but Rigon kept the lead since the gap between us was so big. The track conditions were still wet but with some dry spots appearing in some places and a lot of dirt and mud in some of the corners where the competitors went off. After my pit stop, I came back in sixth place and could not push harder. I was at the limit. Nevertheless in the fight ahead of me for 2nd position, Sevilla spun on lap 21 spraying a lot of dirt on the track and loosing time. Buurman (Eindhoven), Duncan Tappy (Tottenham) and Toccaccelo AS Roma were fighting fiercely ahead of me, but I was able to pass and to finish in the last lap in fourth, just missing the podium by a small margin.
Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) added: "I took a good start. But then after the safety car came back in after five laps, my tires were cold and I encountered serious brake problems. I spun and lost by good position. We pitted on lap 11 and it went smoothly and I saved time. But I could not change my position much with a mixed conditions track that was very dirty in some of the chicanes. I would have liked to have finished higher, but the track was too wet to take any risks. At least I brought the car back in one piece. I am looking forward to the next race in Estoril.
Next race in Estoril October 18-19, 2008