February 19, 2017

Easy A1 win for Coelho with frantic finish for 2nd

Bruno Coelho took an easy win in the opening A-Main of the TITC, the Top Qualifier able to fend off an early challenge from Jilles Groskamp to cruise home to a winning margin of over 6-seconds from Nicholas Lee.  While the leader had a straight forward race the battle for second would end more spectacular fashion as Yokomo team-mates Nicolas Lee and Ronald Volker reeled in a slowing Groskamp.  With a lack of race announcements creating confusion as what stage the race was at, Lee, thinking it was the last lap, would attempt a pass on Groskamp into the final corner.  Hitting the Infinity driver, causing the Dutchman a body tuck, then Volker, trying to capitalise on the incident, would hit his team-mate but the impact stripped his spur gear. Unfortunately for Volker, the race still had another lap to go.  With Lee thinking that the race was finished he initially stopped after his contact with Groskamp who continued but on hearing the crowd reaction continued on the lap but Groskamp would spin out allowing him to go by for second.  With the incident causing Groskamp’s last lap not to count the result would initially show Volker, with a 4:59.563, third but bringing the error to the attention of race control he was given back the lap demoting Volker a lap down to fourth.

‘As expected Jilles attacked at the beginning  but I was able to keep the door closed and after 1-minute I was able to pull away’. The ETS Champion continued, ‘I have not so much to say, I pulled away and then just tried to stay in front and I will try to do the same in the next one’.  In contrast team-mate Alexander Hagberg, who started third but finished last, was very frustrated by his race saying, ‘the car was completely un-drivable.  I could even turn and people could pass me around the outside’.

Summing up his race, which started from 4th on the grid, Lee said ‘it went well’. He continued, ‘Hagberg went wide and we got side by side and he was unlucky and went off.  Then I caught Jilles towards the end and I thought it was the last lap so I tried a move on Jilles and hit him but as we both crossed the line I thought the race was over.  Then I realised it wasn’t and went again.  That aside I am happy with the pace I had for the race and to get second was good’.

Groskamp said, ‘I had a good start and could easily follow Bruno but half way through I lost a lot of pace and the car started to push, it was the same as the last qualifier’.  He continued, ‘I decided to settle for second but the drop off got worse and Nico & Ronald could catch me’.  On the hectic finish, he said, ‘I was slower but it was not super nice from Nicolas and I hope the second one is not so rough’.  Also hoping he doesn’t ‘not have so much drop off’, he added, ‘shame I cant have the pace from Friday but still we will fight for the podium’.

‘The starting grid is crazy to avoid other cars’ said Volker, the 10 car grid lined up extremely close to one another given the size of the Infinity Addict Circuit straight.  He said going into the first corner with cars either side of him he ‘came out the best to go to the front with Nico (Nicolas Lee). We caught Jilles and Nico tried a move and I tried to benefit but hit someone and broke my spur gear’.  He concluded, ‘I could have been Top 3.  With my grid position it isn’t easy but I am very happy with my performance’.  Behind Volker, Akiyama would finish fourth.

View the event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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