Div3 Weekly R7, Buenos Aires GP – Nov 24, 2005

Nick Smith (Repco-Brabham) won Buenos Aires GP last night. Starting from 2nd position Smith finished 1 sec ahead Jani Posta (Repco-Brabham). Podium was rounded out by Leffa Westlund (Lotus).

Race Statistics

Results (30 laps)
1 Smith, REP
2 Posta, REP
3 Westlund, LOT
4 Evans, FER
5 Traynor, REP
6 Stenning, FER
7 Marlow, FER
8r Rubensson, FER
9 Mirkovic, LOT
10r Howlett, EAG
11r Gelsthorpe, LOT

Pole positions
Westlund, 57.643s

Fastest lap
Westlund, 57.928s

Full results

Standings
Posta 87
Thomas 73
Westlund 71
Evans 68
Smith 65
Stenning 47
Rubensson 45
Gelsthorpe 37
Walker 33
Croston 24
Hammer 24
Brixel 24
Mirkovic 20
Traynor 17
Marlow 13
Bustamante 9
Liikanen 6
Howlett 3

Full standings

Driver Quotes

Nick Smith (1st) – I thought I'd got pole, but couldn't get into the 57's to challenge Leffa's fastest. The flag-drop was the quickest I've ever seen, I think - I dunno if that caught Leffa off-guard, but he sat still and I was clean into T1. I thought I might have to give up the lead to Scott in the opening laps, he was holding better lines than me and almost went for it at the hairpin, but I managed to get enough space to settle down. Unfortunate to hear you disco'd, mate. Then came the fear :) Being in front is weird - kinda quiet and peaceful, but easy to lose focus. I kept an eye on Pribluda, and tried to keep a gap and manage tyre temps. I really thought Leffa would have me when I span 2 laps from the end, and couldn't believe I'd won - I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Leffa for his consideration in spinning at such a convenient moment :D Good work by the newer racers too - I had a very easy run past other drivers, I hope you could see me waving my arm!!

Jani Posta (2nd) – Congratulations to Nick on his maiden victory in the league! I had a very bad pain in my stomach last night, so I was afraid I couldn't race... I was pleased with my qualifying, and had a good start. In the first laps I did know that I was slow compared to Nick, while Scott seemed to be catchable but I didn't want to force anything - I just ran my laps. Then Scott discoed and Nick had a problem, and I found myself on the lead! Nick caught me easily, later Leffa did the same. I made only one little mistake during the race and am happy with the results.

Leffa Westlund (3rd) – My funniest race so far but it could have started better. I missed the start completely had pole and was down to seventh after one lap. Then the fun began and by lap six I was third and started chasing Jani. Caught up with Jani but made a mistake and had to start chasing again and on lap 21 I could overtake Jani. Started chasing Nick and almost caught up with him but made another mistake and Jani passed me but I made 3rd so another podium thats ok with such a bad start.

Jonathan Evans (4th) – I had a surprisingly good race, all things considered. I hadn't practised nearly enough to be confident of a decent result: I don't particularly like the circuit (too short for me), and I've been more interested in seeing how my newly split axes improve my times around some of the other tracks. Okay qualifying meant I started 5th - higher than I'd feared. I just managed to scoot around poor old Davor sitting on the grid ahead of me, but my usual poor start meant that Jani nipped in front of me. I then concentrated on not falling off, just trying to bang in 59s regularly. That worked quite well, but I came upon a backmarker very quickly in turn one and put it into the haybale on the inside taking avoiding action. I then sat upside down in my Ferrari listening to everyone zoom past, desperately bashing shift-r. When I was finally allowed to reset, it appears it was right in front of poor old Iain, so that meant another shift-r immediately. (I thought it didn't allow you to reset right in front of someone?) Got back to steady lapping, with Magnus gradually being drawn closer lap by lap. I got to within a second or so when I fell over Davor - my fault completely. I pushed the wrong button and gave him a 'thanks' instead of an 'NP' on chat, when he saw fit to apologise for not being at fault. It wasn't supposed to be sarcastic, Davor, sorry! I was back to where I started again with Magnus, so just decided to take fifth and be grateful for it. I ignored pribluda from then on, really, so was surprised to come upon a wrecking yard of Fezzas around T1, which I luckily managed to skip through. One of them, it appears, was Magnus. So I managed to luck into another fourth place finish. Which was nice. I felt that this one, though, was more deserved than most. I drove a decent, steady race with no terrible mistakes, just a couple of moments trying to take backmarkers. It's the first time I haven't been lapped on one of the really short circuits, so I'll take that as a good sign. Well done Nick on your maiden win. It was only a question of time, mate. SPR are awaaaaay in the distance now; not much chance of BSE getting close in the second half of the season. But we'll keep plugging away... Thanks all, for a good race

Peter Stenning (6th) – I had been struggling in testing for this race with what I thought was a bad set up. Tried something else for practice and still having problems got under a minute which was a suprise. The start was going well till I met with 2 cars doing acrobatics and got involved in the melee. Ended up on the barrier tried a shift R but in my haste hit contr R doh... When I did get shift R I was last by some distance so I was resigned to a low finish. I past a few of the new drivers and Davor having his bad time. Running in 9th I settled down to some steady laps till I had an off and let the leaders(?) in the Lotus car through while I was recovering. Had another moment and ended up behind Magnus who was slower in T1 & T2 than me but was getting his power down quicker. I had come across Magnus in the practice session and was confident I could find a way passed although I was a lap down. Just as I was closing in for the kill he missed a gear and I rear ended him, at this precise moment my engine exploded in a big way, that will look good in the replay. With Scott and then Magnus discoing i end up with a fortunate 6th place. Still my form from the early part of the season had better return soon.

Magnus Rubensson (8th) – Since the Honda was utterly hopeless at the BA track, I gave in to temptation and dusted off the old Ferrari for one race. That didn’t help my efforts at all. I qualified reasonably and got off to a reasonable start, avoided trouble and was running in what I thought was a relatively safe 4th or at least 5th place – Jon E was only a few seconds behind so I couldn’t take it too easy. But I have a tendency to mess up near the end of races, and it was to happen again. I passed two other Ferraris at the hairpin (both were on the grass) and put a lap on Pete. The problem was that I wasn’t really faster than him, so I couldn’t pull away as I had hoped. So I had Pete 0.3 secs behind me on Pribluda and went into T1 slowly. I had problems with grip in T1/T2 but for some strange reason the car was very good on the other side of the track. Anyway, and typically, under acceleration I messed up the gear changes and got into 2nd instead of 3rd, meaning I didn’t accelerate at all. Pete had nowhere to go and hit the back of my Ferrari and I found myself upside down on the grass, and Jon E sailed past. Oh well. I lost 19 seconds, but only one position, and I hadn’t been lapped. With five and a half laps to go I could see that Jon E was now eight seconds ahead. I had tried the ”consistency racing” for 24 laps and it didn’t work. Five laps – eight seconds. It might just be possible... so I gave it all I had and aimed for five consecutive 58-second laps with the hope of pipping Jon E at the finish line. The result was that I effectively blew my engine after half a lap. The car has to be stopped to do a Shift-R. So I hit the brakes, and spun of course. Now I was in real trouble because I was stationary on the racing line, and I could see this on Pribluda: 1. N. Smith (3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1 second). I knew there were three cars in the lead group (Nick, Jani and Leffa). So there was a real risk of causing a major pileup among the leaders. I pressed Escape less than a second before Nick passed and that was the end of that. All in all an honest effort that didn’t pay off. I would like to compliment Norman & Marlow for good clean driving. Their points scores were well deserved.

Davor Mirkovic (9th) – All I can say after this race is that I am really looking forward to Season 4. After every race I learn something new, and usually that new lesson means that I am the last at the race. I made a mistake in the qualies. I shouldn't have checked other driver's times in mid of the qualies. I saw that I could easily win pole position, as Pribluda was showing 56.51 for me, and best drivers were in low 58s. Then, I started to make mistakes. Many mistakes. Finished 3rd, though. But, the biggest mistake was that I forgot to change my race setup, and started the race with what now seems to me the worst BA setup ever. Also, at the start, once again I had an accident. I have checked replay several times, and it seems to me that Leffa turned left just too hard, because of car passing him from the right side,and there was a collision with him. It is really irrelevant, because of my wrong setup, just I could not believe it that I did not have clean start again.


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