Div3 Weekly Jan 26, 2006

R9 – Austrian GP



Jani Posta was the winner of GBGPL Austrian Grand Prix held at Österreichring, Zeltweg. Starting from the number 4 position on the grid, Posta's Repco-Brabham crossed the line 1.052s ahead of Leffa Westlund's Lotus to take the win. Nick Smith's Repco-Brabham rounded out the top three, finishing 11.910s behind Posta.

Race Statistics

Results (16 laps)
1 Posta, REP
2 Westlund, LOT
3 Smith, REP
4 Gelsthorpe, LOT
5 Evans, FER
6 Traynor, REP
7 Stenning, FER
8 Maxted, FER
9 Rubensson, HON
10 Brixel, REP
11 Howlett, EAG
12r Vermeersch, COO
13dns Mirkovic, FER

Pole position
Westlund, 1m46.264s

Fastest lap
Westlund, 1m46.307s

Full results
Point standings

Driver Quotes

Nick Smith I got into the lead, with Jani never more than a second or so behind; after a few laps, I got stuck on the wall @ Boschcurve (that is's name?) for a second, and Jani and Leif were through. Neither put enough of a foot wrong for me to get back on close terms, and my over-driving didn't help my cause. The pace was furious - just furious. I thought I'd be able to claw a second here or there, maybe on the brakes downhill - FFS, I was using 49% brake balance! Very pleased with overall pace, but a little annoyed to have slipped up. It's that tight at the top these days.... An amazing race, all told - hats off to Jani, for another awesome display, and Leif, who never stopped harrying.

Jonathan Evans As I said in chat, there's a mite too much competence going on at the top of Div 3 for my taste!
I made just one mistake, on lap 1 at the Bosch Kurve when I bounced off the wall, but that apart was pretty much consistent: 100% on track, lapping in the 1.48s. And I couldn't even get close to catching Scott in fourth. Actually, then, that's two mistakes, I guess; the second one being I wasn't driving fast enough ;o)
I was really pleased with my drive overall: in qualifying I put in three pb laps out of about seven driven, and got into the 46s when my best had been a 47.9 before. (Thanks Veebs! Shhh...)
I found myself in fifth from third after my usual crapola start, and then nailed the wall; thought about shift-ring it, but all seemed okay, except the imaginary wobbles, of course. (You know the sort of stuff: "I'm sure this suspension feels funny." "No, you're imagining it, Jonny. Just keep going." "Maybe I should stop and shift r, just to be sure..." "Shut up and drive. And BRAKE...")
Nick M and Iain had got through when I bounced, so I spent a few laps tracking them, trying to put some pressure on to force an error, as I couldn't see much hope of overtaking in anger, if I'm honest.
The pressure worked though, and they both obligingly slid off, so I was back up to my fifth place of the first lap. And tbh, I wouldn't have done any better if I hadn't bounced off the wall: the four guys in front were much quicker, and just too darn consistent. I couldn't do much more than keep it on the black stuff and hope - in vain as it turns out. I really enjoyed it though. It's good to be back racing in gpl after the long Christmas break. I think this highlights for me the value of the league system: I enjoy the fun races and festivals, but there's something special (and nerve-wracking) about a championship race. Thanks all, for a great race. Now to nobble those blimmin Brabham mechanics before Spa...

Jani Posta Qualifying went well - my aim to break into 1m46s was succeeded, and P4 on grid was healthy enough for T1. My start was superb - I left both Jonny and Leffa standing and rushed after Nick. I spent the first laps watching Nick's gearbox, and hoped we could gain some seconds on Leffa and would fight our battle later in the race. After Nick parked aside I tried to not notice Leffa in my mirrors. In lap 5 right before Turn 2 I had a great flash, a deja-vu and nearly threw my car... :( After I found the rhythm I raced against the track - though it was a "WESTL +1" race. Congrats to everyone, the race pace was incredible.

Magnus Rubensson From the qualifying times it was clear I wouldn't stand a chance, as predicted. I wonder how much of my going backwards this season has to do with the Honda and how much has to do with the driving.
Had a rather lonely race back in 9th. I did manage to gain one position in the start and was not too far away from Iain Traynor and Nick Maxted (at least I could see them but didn't gain on them) on the first few laps.
Timo and Pete were a couple of seconds behind and I just tried to do a consistency race of 1,52 laps around 8th, possibly picking up the odd place just in case Iain or Nick would spin.
Instead I effectively threw away my chances of even a 7th or 8th in the left-hander just after the long U-turn about mid-track and Pete sailed by. Next lap I was thinking "careful, don't spin, don't spin" - same thing happens and there goes Timo as well, lost 20-25 seconds altogether. Two laps from the end Timo blew his engine so I clawed one place back, but I wouldn't have caught him if that hadn't happened.
Ran out of petrol two corners from the finish line and rolled slowly across the line without the engine. At least I was able to see the close finish between Jani & Leffa first hand as they both lapped me on the run-up to the flag. Great driving, congratulations.
A switch back to Ferrari for S4 looks likely (unless we're driving all chassis). I like the Honda but I wish I could take 50 kilograms of weight off it. Have to stop going to the pub I guess.

Davor Mirkovic I really didn't have time for yesterday race,so I just did one lap in the quallies - 1:51.0,without any practice. As I was in a hurry,I wanted just to start the race,get one point,and then retire,to make it easier for the fellows behind. But,retiring before the green flag was obviously too soon. LOL

Timo Vermeersch So this is 67's. The howl of the engine already gives away that these are fauve brutes compared to the elegant almost shy slickness of the 65's.
Some agitation to get the show running. My crew has mistakenly unloaded the Irridux '66 Coop and the race-marshals won't let me go in that car. Crew gets yelled at, jumps around, franticly pushes 66 back in the trailer and brings out the '67 in al it's GPLEA-glory.
Qualyfying goes reasonably well. Hopes of maybe braking the 1.50- barier for the first time don't materialise. However, a low 1.50 is what I'm good for at the moment and P8 out of 13 in the Coop feels like a respectable showing.
The start is somewhat strange. I go through the usual routine, as practised so many times before : push down the brake, engage 1st gear, push the clutch-button, release the brake with the clutch- button still engaged. As the flagman raises the green, I give it medium throtlle ... The flag drops, I release the clutch while gradually applying more throttle and ... nothing, the car suddenly ain't in gear. Quick shift into first and things are underway. Magnus' Honda has however gone by.
The first lap in 67's online : I try to settle in between Magnus and Pete whom's Ferrari is very present in my mirrors. Onto the S/F- straight. The Ferrari clearly has more power. Pete moves to the center of the track and seems to prepare for a move. I'm kinda clueless as I really only have one line through Vöest-Hügel, the fast approaching first turn. I brake at my usual brake-marker and steer in. Suddenly, no more Ferrari in my mirrors. I'm in doubt: did I cause Pete to spin. He seemed far enough back for me to steer in but still ... did I steer in somewhat more brutal then normal? Swearing, cursing ... at myself. Doubt.
The race seems to settle down a bit. I'm following Magnus but with a decent gap between us. No more pressure from behind. After some laps, I stupidly spin it in Sebring-Auspuffkurve, all by myself. Pete goes by. I then settle down in doing 1.51's, not brutalising the car or whatever. People in front of me spin. I pass them, some of them pass me back ...
At the end of the race, Nick M is just in front of me in the Ferrari. I think there may be a chance to catch him, but I'll have to speed up a bit. I'm thinking : it's only 3 laps to go and I have been gentle with the car, up to now. So let's do some speedshifting. That will increase the speed. Bad idea. Horribly wrong and bad idea. With 3 laps to go, pulling out of Sebring, the Maserati explodes into thousands and thousands of pieces. That's that. I let the car coast on the side of the track. Brabham's go by, Ferrari's go by... The howl of these cars is really something. What a sound, pure arogance crashing out the rawest of powers, slapping it in the face of the Austrian hils. "Edelweis, edelweis ..." Julie Andrews floats through my head. Time to stop, time to step back to the 65's for Vallelunga. Boy, will that be hard track to memorise.
In summary, general feeling of first 67 race : think I'm gonna have a lot of fun in these beasts. I'm still far from feeling the same confidence as I have in the 65-Coop but the prospect of endless practice trying to get there never seemed sweeter. Remainder of S3 and S4 : here we come.

Leffa Westlund Real fun racing last night I got the pole but missed start again grabbed third anyway. Kept trailing Jani and when Nick made a mistake we could both pass him. Tried to stay within one second behind Jani waiting for him to do a mistake but he never did and I never had any real chance to pass him. 16 laps of close racing im very happy with second. Hats of for mr consistent Jani you are impossible


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