Silverstone GP review

After a difficult and explosive race in the World Championship at Montreal, the team turned up for testing at the infamous Silverstone with plenty of optimism. Looking to put the events of Canada in the past the team racked up plenty of laps laying down a solid base setup. Silverstone, one of the toughest tracks of the year, due to the nature of the corners and the high tire wear. The World Series drivers looked to continue their good run of form and having strong pace from the outset helped the team. Difficult circumstances have troubled the team in the top category and it was a clear goal to recover as many lost points as possible.

World Series
Martin Gosbee continued his season on a strong form, challenging the race winner Brljak until the closing laps of the race, however it wasn’t meant to be this time. At the start Martin was slowed down by slow-starting Libeert and lost a couple of positions. By the time he recovered, the 5 second gap was a daunting task. Rob van Starkenburg drove a solid race and completed double podium finish with Cyril Werdmuller (GT Omega) followed Rob closely for most of the laps and finished 4th. His GT Omega teammate Nick Rowland wasn’t so fortunate and due to technical issues on the server’s side retired in the first lap. Ajibola Lawal’s mission also ended prematurely, getting a disconnection in the qualification. Despite of the mixed feelings, advantage in the constructors championship was increased.

WS Race analysis (Ondrej Kuncman)
"We went into this race secretly confident, however it looked like Twisters found something extra in the setup and the first lap mess that left Martin on P5 certainly didn’t help. Although he could match Brljak later on, the gap was too big to catch after the first pit stop so there wasn’t really anything we could have done strategically to try to challenge for the win at that point. This issue came from the fact that the race setup turned out not to be as competitive on low fuel and starting behind the competitors never helps. The only decision to make was the first pit stop, when, knowing Martin was faster than both Cyril and Rob we decided to pit him first to move him ahead and try to see what happens in front. Both Cyril and Rob had very even pace and no threat from behind so it was pretty much under control after the first pit stops. Nick just had bad luck and he has to improve in qualifications to avoid being in the middle of the pack as lag and any sort of incident is much more likely to happen there."

Rob van Starkenburg (3rd) commented:
"Qualifying went ok with a 4th place. Start of the race Martin and I were better off the line than both Twisters. I had to lift off the throttle, because I had nowhere to go. A few corners later I managed to pick up 2 places. I was then 2nd with Cyril behind me. I was a bit off my normal pace so I let Cyril go for a bit, however I managed to get the place back at the first pit stops. Martin stopped a lap earlier so I was still3rd. The rest of the race I just managed my pace. We definitely have some work to do as Twister seemed to be really fast here."

World Championship
All drivers delivered much stronger qualification performances, with Bono taking his 28th career pole position, 3rd in 2013. Martin Gosbee, Ivar Kalamees and Jack Keithley started from 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Thanks to poor launch of both Twister drivers, Martin Gosbee moved up to P2, Ivar to P4 and Jack P5. Bono with Martin managed to create a small gap from the rest of the field while Ivar and Jack had to battle hard for their positions. Ultimate, after retirement of main competitors it was all looking to have a happy ending – up until lap 38 when Bono Huis suffered a disconnection from the server and retired. It was his first retirement since Suzuka 2011. Martin Gosbee was then leading the race however due to his position in World Series he unfortunately had to give up a possible victory and slot in P4 as rules don’t allow for a driver in the top 10 of WC to participate in World Series. Ivar Kalamees therefore took his 2nd victory in World Championship and moved in the lead in the overall standings. Jack Keithley after a couple of unfortunate races made it back on the podium, finishing 3rd and Martin Gosbee 4th.

WC Race analysis (Ondrej Kuncman):
"As seen in the World Series, we knew the main threat would be both Twister drivers. Bono managed to do yet another great lap in Q2 which was crucial to control the race and all Martin, Ivar and Jack did solid laps as well. Race pace was supposed to be better than we saw during the race, but it seemed to be the case for everyone. In case of Bono it was just about covering Atze Kerkhof and also Morand who got through the field surprisingly fast and would have finished on the podium but after they both crashed out we had the race fully under control, or so we thought so. Bono’s disconnection is obviously a great blow to securing championship early and not to get anyone excited, it will not happen again. I feel sorry for Martin as he was driving a very impressive race, but our objectives are clear and he fully agrees and understands it. He will get his chance in WC sooner or later. Both Ivar and Jack drove strong races too, both managing to pull out some great and crucial overtakes. Especially Jack’s pass on Baldi was essential. Afterwards it was just about controlling the position swap so Martin doesn’t lose any more positions. So with some luck but as well as some bad luck, 1, 3, 4 finish is solid. Could have been a lot better, but also a lot worse if Morand finished, so we take this and move on. We found a small improvement since WS race and will have to explore it further as clearly we have lacked here a bit. On the other hand that is not so unusual considering this has historically not been our best track. I’m certain we will be on our best in Nurburgring again."

Ivar Kalamees (1st) commented:
"I was a bit worried about Q1 but it wasn't as close as I thought it would be, so I made it through quite safely. My qual 2 lap was a pretty poor one but was enough for P5. At the race start both of the Twister cars got a very slow getaway and I was able to get ahead of Samuel and almost alongside Atze. That caused a hairy moment in turn 2 when Atze moved over to the racing line and clipped the front of my car, I was able to keep my position though. First laps I was able to keep up with Atze and tried to overtake him on a few occasions, although that was quite hard with their superior straight line speed. None of my tries were successful though, so I tried to leapfrog him in pits. Unfortunately I came out behind a PSR car who for some reason tried to slow us both down with some weird defending. From there on I trailed Atze and Morgan until they both retired and then had to set my sights on Samuel behind me, who was closing in fast. Fortunately I could keep him behind and take the victory, after Bono unfortunately disconnected from the server and Martin had to drop back to keep fighting for the WS championship."

Jack Keithley (3rd) commented:
"Race went very well. Had to work very hard to get my first podium since Bahrain, sorry I meant Melbourne. For some reason the grip I had was not that good for the 3rd and 4th stints. Had to overtake some people too but I never had a problem with that as it was all clean and fair. Thanks to the team for another awesome car and onto Nurburgring."

Martin Gosbee (4th) comented:
"My Q2 Lap was solid, managed P4 despite setting same time as Libeert. I got a very good launch off the line and instantly passed Libeert for 3rd and took the outside line on T1 and got past Kerkhof too, the pace was very nice and I was able to keep up with Bono throughout the stints. The race was going very well but then Bono suffered an unfortunate disconnection giving me the lead, I then managed the gap to the till the last stint where I had to back off due to my WS duties, I then dropped back to P4 allowing my team mate Jack for P3 and then came across the line right behind him in P4, in a way it’s disappointing to leave my home GP without a win, but again it was great to think I had the pace to go for it in the first place. Thanks to the team for all their efforts over the weeks."

 

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Precision Motorsports Press
Official Press Release
written by Ondrej Kuncman
www.precision-motorsports.de