Instructive weekend for Racing For Belgium! Valencia. Racing For Belgium have just experienced a good second WTCC weekend. The Portuguese driver at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo 156 was competing in his second WTCC round of the ...
Instructive weekend for Racing For Belgium!
Valencia. Racing For Belgium have just experienced a good second WTCC weekend. The Portuguese driver at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo 156 was competing in his second WTCC round of the season and the outcome at Valencia was pretty positive. "A seventh place with the Independents in race 1 and a retirement in race 2 might not seem that spectacular, but we have made some substantial progress", is how team manager Wim Coekelbergs summed up the Spanish weekend. "This progress and the experience gained are at this moment in time probably far more important than the actual result for us. We are presently lacking mileage, but at least the link up with the overall group has been achieved. This last weekend Miguel was able to pace himself against the other Independent-drivers, something really encouraging."
"Our free practice sessions did not quite go as planned. A gearbox problem shortened our session and we lost valuable mileage", the Portuguese Alfa- driver told us after the free practice sessions. "In comparison to lots of other drivers I obviously found myself with a double handicap, because I presently have limited knowledge of the car and I don't know any of the circuits. When you then experience a problem during the free sessions it is very difficult to set about qualifying under optimal conditions. But the team did everything possible to prepare the car for the qualifying sessions."
Freitas qualified in 24th place, but during the warm-up on Sunday morning he was almost one and a half seconds faster. "We're obviously on the right track", a hopeful Wim Coekelbergs commented; "Jan Heylen, our 2005 Megane champion who happened to be present here this weekend driving a Ferrari 430, helped us out with the car's set-up, for which we thank him.."
Race 1 ran smoothly for the Belgian team. After the start Freitas was able to lock on to a small group and fought his way through up into the top-15. He finally ended in 16th place overall and seventh amongst the Independents. "The lap times were good, the car was running perfectly and Miguel drove a faultless race, so we're all satisfied", was the overall drift in the Belgian camp..
Race 2 started off even better, but a small skid unfortunately resulted in Freitas having to retire. The Alfa 156's suspension was damaged and it was all over for the Portuguese driver in the fourth lap. "Pity, but then that's racing for you..." is how Coekelbergs viewed matters after the race.
After Valencia Miguel Freitas is now ranked eighth in the Independents-ranking.
Racing For Belgium are now preparing for what could well be the most spectacular race of the season. In a fortnight's time the WTCC caravan will be heading on down to the legendary street circuit in Pau for the fourth weekend of the WTCC season.