Round 2 - Brazil (Interlagos)
Parkhouse was the only Pro driver mixing it with the Ace contingent, sitting on row 4 with Claudio Di Martino with Mark Butler and Olivier Leroy on Row 5. With 15 cars showing up for qualifying and possible extra entries for the race the championship is gaining momentum.
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Laps Pts 1. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1:08.363 +00.000 9 20 2. #61 Oliver Roberts Digitech Ace 1:08.471 +00.108 11 16 3. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1:08.753 +00.390 10 14 4. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1:08.873 +00.510 12 12 5. # 2 Mike Hogg Bolgani Ace 1:08.896 +00.533 10 10 6. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1:09.294 +00.931 7 8 7. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1:09.475 +01.112 12 6 8. #42 Claudio Di Martino CDiMa Bros. Ace 1:09.488 +01.125 5 5 9. # 5 Mark Butler BCR - Honda Pro 1:09.831 +01.468 12 4 10. # 7 Olivier Leroy CyberSpeed Pro 1:09.882 +01.519 11 3 11. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1:10.065 +01.702 12 2 12. #26 Gerard Volders Lotus Pro 1:10.083 +01.720 8 1 13. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1:10.512 +02.149 11 14. #23 Donald Millican Coll Oliver Mil. Pro 1:11.505 +03.142 4 15. #19 Bert Volders Lancia Pro -:--.--- DNQ 18
By lap 30 all the first pit stops had been completed, leaving Roberts 3 seconds ahead of the ever advancing Svehlik who was a further 20 seconds ahead of Bodlien. Hogg, recovering from his poor start and a broken front wing, was mounting a comeback drive of sorts - passing Di Martino and Crawford in two laps for 7th. On lap 36 Svehlik took the final corner just that little bit quicker than Roberts ahead of him and they crossed the finsh line side by side - Svehlik holding on to take the place. Incredibly Roberts repeated the same move on the next lap to retake the lead, the cheers from the crowd drowning the sound of the cars. The fierce battle continued until the cars made their second stops but Roberts tried too hard on cold tyres, dumping the Digitech in the gravel and later admitting he was still a bit rusty after His two and a half years away.
All this left Svehlik leading from Bodlien and Hogg with Suerig in 4th and Diener 5th. However Diener wasn`t content to stay there and he took 4th from Suerig on lap 62 and the final step on the podium from Hogg
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Pts 1. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1h28:22.572 +0:00.000 180 +5 2. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1h29:02.493 +0:39.921 170 3. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1h29:31.448 +1:08.876 165 +3 4. # 2 Mike Hogg Bolgani Ace 1h29:40.183 +1:17.611 160 5. #15 Benjamin Suerig Amiga Racing Ace 1h29:48.278 +1:25.706 155 6. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1h30:04.102 +1:41.530 151 7. #42 Claudio Di Martino CDiMa Bros. Ace 1h30:23.958 +2:01.386 147 8. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1h30:36.258 +2:13.686 143 9. # 5 Mark Butler BCR - Honda Pro 1h31:30.391 +3:07.819 139 10. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1h31:35.064 +3:12.492 135 11. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1h32:03.686 +3:41.114 132 12. # 7 Olivier Leroy CyberSpeed Pro 1h33:34.685 +5:12.113 129 13. #61 Oliver Roberts Digitech Ace 59 laps 83.28% 104 +5 14. #23 Donald Millican Coll Oliver Mil. Pro 30 laps 42.37% 51
"Brazil is my favourite track. I started from pole position and made in the next few laps good time gap to the second driver. I have tested a lot on this track so i was fast. Again I have used the pit stop strategy from last season. Started on C compound, in lap 26 was my first pit stop. Again C compound and second stop in lap 54 with D compound."
Steffen Diener (Power Tech), 3rd:
"The race started pretty good for me. I stayed in front for the whole
time. I had trouble with my strategy. Always a few laps before pitting
I ran into chains of CCs. So I had to overtake many of them twice, before
and after the pitstop. At the end I almost matched my last race time by
a few seconds."
Mike Hogg (Bolgani), 4th:
"Not too bad a result considering I smashed my wing off of Ralf Schumacher
early on while trying to lap him... I was much happier with the second half
of the race - my lap times were quite consistent. Much better than Australia!"
Benjamin Suerig (Amiga Racing), 5th:
"I can be quite happy with the result of the second race in my rookie season, altough I could have gained much more time if I had been concentrated in several situations. For me the race was all about overtaking and lapping, as I found some car in front of me on almost all of the 71 laps. Regarding the lap times I guess stopping only twice on very soft tires was not the best strategy."
Ian Parkhouse (Phoenix), 6th:
"I had three problems with this race - Traffic, Traffic and Traffic!
It was bad during the the last few laps before my first stop, horrible all the way to my second stop, and unmentionable to the finish.
I should be doing at least 1:11's every lap on my final set of tyres, but due to traffic I did seven 1:13's, six 1:12's and only two 1:11's and a single 1:10. That's 20 seconds lost in 16 laps!
It looks like my 100% record of a podium finish every race is over...
<sigh> See you in (ugh) San Marino."
Claudio Di Martino (CDiMa Bros.), 7th:
"A slow but steady race ruined by poor pit strategy. Started on Ds to
take some advatage against the CC cars had to finish with worn out Cs
without making any big mistake. And that's something notable since
last year I didn't seem to finish my races very often ;)"
Darren Crawford (Corgi), 8th:
"I could have done alot better but my hands where cramping up.
Not to mention jetlag from the long journey from Austraila.
I think I offended the Jaguars in some way I was unaware of, the *#@*&#'s kept knocking me off the road or kept jamming in the side of me, even if I had the inside corner.
Granted, I went to the outside twice and paid the price.
After the race I talked to Herbert about it and he told me to get used to it. So I popped him one in the chops.
Corgi and Jaguar now have a rivalry."
Mark Butler (BCR - Honda), 9th:
"Wow, considering Brazil is an easy track, that was a hard race. I bust my
wing which messed up my pit stop cycle, so I did the last 10 laps on dodgy
tyres. Also, Im surprised I even finished, because I made so many little
spins and mistakes, which will no doubt be reflected in my finishing
Robert Wilson (Powerecoil-2000), 10th:
"Slow cars and a gear select problem were the only things I could complain
about in this race. The race went pretty much according to plan, apart from
a few nast spins which were caused by the gear-select mechanism hitting spin
gear instead of staying in first.
These problems probably cost me a minute or two of track time, which I didn't
want to lose given the competition this season. An Orange Arrows car took
my nosecone off on the last turn before ascending the hill to the pits
on lap 53, this cost me a further 16 seconds. However, I did manage to lap
everyone apart from the Ferrari of Schumacher who was some seven seconds from
being lapped at the end.
A bit disappointing given the speed of all the other drivers, but more points
for my championship title challenge."
Jim Spratt (Lotus), 11th:
"COmpared to Australia this was a piece of cake, as I started from pole.
Everything went well, until I tried to lap Gaston Mazzacane, at the last bend
before the start/finish straight, because we bumped wheels, causing him to
retire. Then as is typical I ran into the back of Riccardo Zonta on lap 29.
I'd managed to eek out a 40+ second lead at this stage, and just managed to get
out in front of Rubens Barrichello. Then it was a textbook race, my second pit
stop passed without incident, and I went on to win the race."
Olivier Leroy (CyberSpeed), 12th:
"For this 2nd race, I had a very good start from the pole and I attacked a lot on the
first part of the race. I did my first pit-stop on the lap 21 without problem. But, three
laps after my second stop, I did a big fault and I broke my front wing, and when I wanted to
come back on the track, a Benetton broke my rear wing, so I had to stop again.
During this race, the most of the time, I lost a lot of time when I was behind slow cars in
the slow part of the track."
Oliver Roberts (Digitech), 13th:
"It's great to be back in the driving seat, and I found I was quickly back on
the pace in qualifying. In the race, I suspected Jan would opt for a proven
safe tyre strategy, so I decided to go for something a bit different to give
me a chance of winning. Running the whole race with Ds was going pretty well,
despite me having quite a few problems getting to grips with the traffic,
and really I was unable to get a clear run of laps in until lap 50. All hope
of a race win vanished when I spun on lap 41, and had gear selection problems,
which not only lost me 25 seconds, but let through around 10 CCs which I had
only just lapped. After clearing the worst of the traffic, and getting back
in the groove, I was going strong until lap 60 when I was speeding down the
first corner when an unsighted Ferrari came out of the pitlane just as I was
approaching the same point of track - it was a shock to be sent hurtling down
the track in a crash that wrecked my car, since I had no way of seeing the
Ferrari. A frustrating, and ultimately disappointing race - I really felt there
was a chance of a win here (luck just wasn't on my side this time)."
Donald Millican (Coll Oliver Mil.), 14th:
"That was the worst race of my F1GP career!
Massive oversteer from the first corner meant
the car tried to spin on the spot on every
corner of every lap in the race. It was also
the first ever IAF1GPC race where I've retired.
The oversteer didn't happen in practice or
qualifying and as I didn't touch my setup before
the race, where it came from is a mystery."