Despite forecasts it was cloudy in Bahrain, Fourth round of FSR season. Eros Masciulli joked about predicting the first wet race in Sakhir desert.
Favourite Daniel Kiss started on pole, with ACR drivers Hoyer and Gergis far away, respectively Tenth and from pit lane (penalty from Chinese gp). Green lights, and at first sector Marek Godek attacked the pole-man without success; in the meanwhile Rens Klop spun, finding himself behind the front line.
These events and his skills allowed Kiss to pull away. On lap eleven Satherley spun when Klop was very close to him; a big incident and double retirement. Gergis recovery (from pit lane) was entertaining; even his sister team-mate Hoyer tried to recover places, but he over-drove probably because he was too aggressive.
Godek was on an aggressive three-stops strategy; he had to fight positions back because of that. Final laps showed a direct battle between him, Ragusa and Partington; there were contacts and some work for the race director Blair Disley.
Kiss took another victory, his fourth in four grand prix. After penalties, Godek and Partington stepped up on podium, followed by Heesterbeek and Ragusa.
22 drivers started this race, 13 finished it; let's have a look to the top positions.
1) Daniel Kiss (HUN)
Twister Racing Team
2) Marek Godek (SVK)
GhostSpeed Racing Team
3) Mike Partington (ENG)
4) Ruud Heesterbeek (NED)
5) Giuseppe Ragusa (ITA)
+40.047 (10 second time penalty imposed: incident)
6) Martin Hodás (SVK)
7) Michi Hoyer (GER)
Avid Chronic Racing Team
Driver originates from GER
8) Pashalis Gergis (GRI)
Avid Chronic Racing - Blue Team
9)Alessio Campus (ITA)
10) Michael Francesconi (ITA)
Eventa by Pescara SHS Ace
Marek Godek (GhostSpeed Racing Team)
Welcome Marek. An aggressive three stops strategy and several overtakes brought you the second position. Considering your second place on the grid, you have to fight it back because of more stops; do you still think it was a safe strategy? And what about your battle with Ragusa?
- Thank you! My qualification lap wasn't perfect, I lost some tenths in the middle sector for a mistake in the 5th corner. Maybe it cost me a pole position! But Daniels pace in race was awesome! I had no chance to fight with him. My biggest and only trouble was my tyre management. It was caused by a very bad stability of my car which destroyed my tyres too fast. I was not able to do more than 10 laps on my tires. That caused my 3 stop strategy...I had no another choice! With our team we did many tests before the race, but I decided to use China setup which was faster in first few laps, but we saw I had a big problems with worn tires. I wanted to do the race with 2 stops, but I couldn't do that. I know that cost me a comfortable second place. Fight with Ragusa? Well, when I saw their accident few laps before the end of the race, I hoped that Ragusa will have any damage on his car and older tires than my. Firstly I was careful, I decided to wait a bit with attacking. But again, it was a bad decision, because my tires started to suffer badly ...destroyed. It was not easy, but I tried to overtake Ragusa in last lap, but he has been wide a bit, but it was OK. I was not able to do it better in Bahrain. After race my teammate Jeroen finished his setup for Bahrain, and it was just perfect on tires management!. On Sunday in WC race I did easily with full tank 15 laps on softs, so compared to my ACE race it was a big step forward! So, I hope this good pace will continue in next races..
Ruud Heesterbeek (GS Engineering)
Welcome Ruud. You're quite new to FSR but you are not new to sim-racing. You're constantly finishing in top 10 and fighting for top 5; what's your season target and are you happy about your perfomances?
- You're right, I'm not new to sim-racing but I am quite new to racing in RFactor 2. I struggled a lot in the first race but in race 2 I was already more on the pace. I think I am quite lucky with the results I got so far, because my pace was not that good but I benefited a lot from other people's DNFs (or penalties). I think that I can still improve a lot, and I hope to be fighting for podiums regularly in the second half of the season.
Martin Hodás (Lovell-Eventa Simracing)
Welcome Martin. You joined Eventa Simracing after Precision Motorsports decision to take a sabbatical year. Are you happy about your choice? What are your Ace championship expectations?
- Im glad that I was able to join Eventa just few weeks before start of this season. But because of raising level of work and school duties, probably the best decision would be to take sabbatical year too. Because of these challenges, now I cant put proper effort to practice and help my team more. Therefore I don't have big expectations in championship, I would be satisfied with P5. But as a team we have to finish in TOP 3 for sure.
Full broadcast (more interviews from 1:59:15)
Next Ace round will be at Montreal on 30th May
Alessio Campus, David O'Reilly and Pashalis Gergis (FSR Media Group)