Round 9 - France (Magny-Cours)
In the Pro class there was plenty of action and controversy, but not amongst the leading two cars as Robert Wilson closed the small gap on the championship leader by taking fifth ahead of Ian Parkhouse's disappointing eighth. The two Lotus cars of Gerard Volders and Jim Spratt crashed into each other mid way through, with both cars being too badly damaged to take any further part in the session. The team decided to give Spratt excusive use of the spare car but he could only manage tenth place, four tenths of a second behind his teammate's seventh.
In a farcical end to the session, Bert Volders misjudged the braking point to enter the pits at the end of his last run, then got punted from behind by Thomas Bodlien who was just finishing his last flying lap. This sent the Lancia spinning down the straight just over the start-finish line, meaning that it had officially started a 13th lap. The race officials stuck rigidly to the rules and excluded him from the session. The team has appealed against this decision.
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Laps Pts 1. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1:06.621 +00.000 10 20 2. #15 Benjamin Suerig Amiga Racing Ace 1:06.864 +00.243 11 16 3. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1:06.889 +00.268 10 14 4. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1:07.583 +00.962 4 12 5. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1:07.776 +01.155 11 10 6. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1:07.795 +01.174 11 8 7. #26 Gerard Volders Lotus Pro 1:07.797 +01.176 5 6 8. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1:07.907 +01.286 12 5 9. # 7 Olivier Leroy CyberSpeed Pro 1:08.202 +01.581 11 4 10. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1:08.211 +01.590 12 3 11. #19 Bert Volders Lancia Pro -:--.--- DNQ 13
Pos No. Driver Team Cl. Time Diff. Pts 1. # 1 Jan Svehlik Bolgani Ace 1h27:25.528 +0:00.000 180 +5+3 2. # 4 Steffen Diener Power Tech Ace 1h28:31.070 +1:05.542 170 +5 3. #15 Benjamin Suerig Amiga Racing Ace 1h29:34.655 +2:09.127 165 4. #11 Ian Parkhouse Phoenix Pro 1h30:51.055 +3:25.527 160 5. # 3 Thomas Bodlien Power Tech Ace 1h31:14.117 +3:48.589 155 6. #25 Jim Spratt Lotus Pro 1h31:29.182 +4:03.654 151 7. # 7 Olivier Leroy CyberSpeed Pro 1h31:33.732 +4:08.204 147 8. # 9 Darren Crawford Corgi Ace 1h31:43.857 +4:18.329 143 9. #39 Robert Wilson Powerecoil-2000 Pro 1h31:55.158 +4:29.630 139
"I have tested on this track much, so I am satisfacted with my achieved result. I started the race from pole on C compound tyres. The tyres attrited fast so i used three pit stops. The whole race on C."
Steffen Diener (Power Tech), 2nd:
"Magny Course is a track where I always qualify well but then
have problems in the race. It was the same this year. It was
difficult to overtake lapped CCs, which costs me a lot of time.
But compared to my last result I improved my time by half a
minute, so that's something to be happy about."
Benjamin Suerig (Amiga Racing), 3rd:
"This was a ray of hope for the Amiga Racing team, although I could have done much better. I simply did too many too weak laps, losing more than 5 seconds on some of them. But after all those desasters happening to me in the past I knew I should be careful (esp. concerning lapping opponents) to be sure to finish a race again after a long time."
Ian Parkhouse (Phoenix), 4th:
"Now that's more like it!
Finally I've managed to complete another race with no unscheduled pit stops!
Jim Spratt (Lotus), 6th:
"I started from pole, and set about building a gap to allow for my 1st pit stop.
Everything was going fine until lap 22, when I ran into the barrier on the
entrance to 130r, resulting in a trip to the pit for a new nose. I then took it
easy (as I was on D tyres) and knew I would re-take the lead when Mikka stopped
for his tyre stop, but needent of bothered, as on lap 30 I ran into the back of
Villeneuve. This had 1 advantage though - my stragety was now restored. I then
set about catching Hakkinen, which took the entire 2nd stint, due to traffic.
However by lap 53 I had enough time in hand, so stopped, and just made it out in
front of Hakkinen. I went on to win the race. Finally I'm looking forward to
racing on my home turf... :)"
Olivier Leroy (CyberSpeed), 7th:
"I had a good start from the pole, but it was very difficult to stay on the track and after few laps, Coulthard
took the lead. So on the lap 21, I decided to stop, and I mounted 'C' tyres. I was 7th after that, but the car
was very well, and I was able to reach the first place on the lap 63."
Darren Crawford (Corgi), 8th:
"The backmarkers where very aggressive, and as a result of that I found myself getting pounded and knocked of the track alot even though I had the corner."
Robert Wilson (Powerecoil-2000), 9th:
"A slowish steady race. I only decided to make two stops here as I didn't have
a clear race strategy, so my tyres were completely wasted for the last ten laps.
I've no idea how many points I'll get for this race and if I'll re-take the lead
in the Pro Championship, but some points are better than none."