Hoyer and Gergis dominate race but penalties set back the ACR pair. Kiss gains another win after early trouble.
The third race of ACE season was characterised by heavy penalties. Many drivers took quite aggressive lines resulting in cuts. Michi Hoyer was the winner on track, and his sister team mate Pashalis Gergis and then Marek Godek completed the top 3. However, after post race penalties, Daniel Kiss was moved from a Fifth place to victory, with team mate Rens Klop in second; Giuseppe Ragusa stepped up on his first FSR podium, just in front of Fabrizio Gobbi and Martin Hodàs. (3 drivers in less than a second!).
First laps in Shanghai were exciting. Pole sitter Gergis had to defend his leadership from Kiss, who pushed too much resulting in a spin and 9 lost places.
The field was very close and began to stretch itself only after pit stops.
Most of the drivers were on 3 stop strategies, but not Hoyer. Even so, a strategy mistake forced him to make another stop. He took back the victory from Gergis' hands on the last lap after an internal team duel.
As mentioned however the final standings were totally transformed after official protests. 24 drivers started this race, 17 finished it; let's have a look to the top positions.
1)Daniel Kiss (HUN)
Twister Racing Team
45 laps / 1h14m53.513
2)Rens Klop (NED)
Twister Racing Team
3)Giuseppe Ragusa (ITA)
4)Fabrizio Gobbi (ITA)
+10.000 (10 second time penalty imposed: "Incident")
5)Martin Hodás (SVK)
6)Ruud Heesterbeek (NED)
7)Michi Hoyer (GER)
Avid Chronic Racing Team
+21.624 (30 second time penalty imposed: "Race Cutting")
8)Pashalis Gergis (GRE)
Avid Chronic Racing - Blue Team
+22.259 (30 second time penalty imposed: "Race Cutting")
9)Mikko Suokas (FIN)
Faster Than Speed Ace
10)Eros Masciulli (ITA)
Eventa by Pescara SHS Ace
11)Marek Godek (SLV)
GhostSpeed Racing Team
+28.784 (30 second time penalty imposed: "Race Cutting")
Championship standings display a domination by Twister Racing, thanks to Daniel Kiss and Rens Klop, but Avid Chronic Racing showed a very good potential.
Daniel Kiss (Twister Racing Team)
Congratulations on your victory Daniel; we know that you didn't like to win in this way, but in Shanghai your spin was less important than post race penalties. Rules are rules. What do you think about it?
- I don't really have much to say about the race, after my spin it was just saving as many points as possible, I ended up in Fifth which was obviously not what I wanted before the race. I was lucky with the post race penalties, that's all. Hopefully the same thing won't happen at Bahrain. I made mistakes at Sepang and Shanghai as well, I'm hoping for a clean race now.
Michi Hoyer (Avid Chronic Racing Team )
Welcome Michi. Great speed and tyre management, but a strategy mistake made your race more lively. You still won after that but post race penalties assigned you Seventh. Are you more disappointed for this result or more happy about the potential you displayed?
- Thank you very much indeed. First of all I am very happy to make that First even with that strategic mistake though. After I recognized my mistake I literally thought that I need around 18 Qualifying-laps in order to try something at least. That worked brilliantly I have to say. The point is that the set-ups have to be really biased. You can set up your car for doing great 1-lap-speed or to have long tyre-life. But in most cases the one sort of setting means that the other one isn’t achievable at the same time. For some reason in China the set was brilliant in tire-saving and even a stunner when squeezing the limit.
The penalty is some sort of bad luck. It was my first win in an official ACE FSR race so it’s some kind of a pain to finish in First but afterwards being awarded the points of a Seventh. But this is just a single incident. We paid a big price in order to learn what to do better in the future. That won’t happen to any ACR driver again, that’s for sure. Apart from that thinking about the race, where we ended and obviously where I could have ended without my strategic mistake I am quite convinced that ACR was not beatable on that particular day on that particular track. This fact gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming races because we have confirmed our upwards trend compared to last season, starting in Australia with a Third and Fourth. Now we know that if things go well for us we are always in shape for a top 3 position or even a win. And beside the bad feeling about being back in Seventh after post-race checks the feeling of being able to fight for a win predominates a lot.
The next race is in Bahrain the upcoming weekend. Although having some handicaps we are looking forward to another Top 3 in that race.
Next ACE round will be at Bahrain on 16th May.
Alessio Campus, David O'Reilly and Pashalis Gergis (FSR Media Group)