Round Seventh of the 2015 FSR Ace championship took place in Germany, at Hockenheim.
Q2 showed a very close competition, with top five drivers within 65 milliseconds; Gergis conquered pole position ahead of Ragusa, Partington, Kiss and Klop. Godek had a penalty because of a cut in his Austrian qualification lap, so he started from last spot on the grid; good new for the show and most of spectators.
Race start was a true chaos, but resulting race director statement was quite clear:"Kiss doesn't give Partington enough room despite being side by side, causing Partington to go wide, losing him two positions and a few seconds. Partington is pushed wide into first corner, but regains control; loses the car when rejoining the track and spins into Valkeejarvi, ending his race along with a chain reaction".
Meantime Gobbi did an aggressive move on Satherley some rows behind. Results: Klop, Valkeejarvi, Prieto, De Jong, Riera and Gobbi retired almost immediately, followed after few laps by Chatzipantellis and Satherlay; Alberts and Godek had to pit because of performance issues.
Gergis led the remaining cars in the field, followed by Ragusa, Hoyer, Kiss, Masciulli, Francesconi, Reyes, Hodas, Campus and Partington. First driver with harder compound was Francesconi in Seventh place; Reyes and Hodas overtook him. Front battle saw Ragusa starting to put pressure on Gergis; Kiss did the same on Hoyer.
Avid Chronic Racing was the first team to pit on lap 10, as most of the drivers were on a three stops strategy; Gergis and Hoyer rejoined track Sixth and Seventh, but the German spun trying to beat Daniel Kiss lap times and then he had a very long pit stop that ruined his chances of a good result. Meanwhile Ragusa took race leading staying out longer than others stepping up to third and making others think to be on two stops like Reyes. He pitted on lap 15,. Soon the Italian pushed too hard, trying to stay with Kiss despite an harder compound; he damaged his car going too deep at the first turn but without loosing his place. On lap 20 Kiss tried to undercut leader Gergis. The ACR driver covered Daniel's move but it wasn't enough. However, Kiss lost two positions to Gergis and Francesconi because of a 360 degree spin, ruining his tires and reversing in Seventh. Even Reyes, Eight, lost his car in a similar mistake at turn nine, taking some damage too.
Masciulli and Hodas weren't lucky because their boxes were very close to the grass, so they lost some seconds because of dirt and less traction. This allowed a Partington overtake.
On lap 29: Gergis led with 4 seconds on Kiss; Ragusa, Partington, Hodas and Masciulli were close to each other fighting for last podium spot, then Francesconi, Reyes, Campus and Hoyer completed top 10, with Godek and Alberts trying to reach them.
Later, strategies mixed up places again and created some action: Kiss overtook Masciulli on the hairpin after some skill full braking. Francesconi half spun and Ragusa again took over the lead for a few laps.
After all pit stops the championship leader was the last to return on track on Fourth but only six seconds behind race leader Gergis and with better tires. However he didn't have to catch him, because the Greek driver crashed and retired after wheel troubles. We can only image his disappointment after such a brilliant race.
So Kiss overtook Partington and reached Ragusa. The fight for the win was tough. A contact between him and Ragusa resulted in the Italian spinning due to his own fault losing second position to the Eventa Simracing driver. The Twister Racing driver managed to control his car with a good manoeuvre and took the chequered flag, making some do nuts to celebrate another season victory and his leadership. Such a great recovery for Mike Partington after his start; from Tenth to Second! Ragusa closed gap to Klop on drivers championship.
20 drivers started this race, 11 finished it.
1) Daniel Kiss (HUN)
Twister Racing Team
2) Mike Partington (ENG)
3) Giuseppe Ragusa (ITA)
4) Martin Hodás (SKV)
5) Eros Masciulli (ITA)
Eventa by Pescara SHS Ace
6) Michael Francesconi (ITA)
Eventa by Pescara SHS Ace
7) Michi Hoyer (GER)
Avid Chronic Racing Team
8) Marek Godek (SKV)
GhostSpeed Racing Team
9) Alessio Campus (ITA)
10) Miguel Reyes (SPA)
Comunidad JDT Team
11) Mark Alberts (GER)
Rens Klop (Twister Racing Team)
- Welcome Rens. Despite Hockenheim retirement you're second in driver championship. So first of all congratulations for your first half of the season. Are you pleased about your results? Can you describe us what happened to you at the grand prix start?
- Well, my season have some ups and downs. The first races I finished on podiums, in Bahrain we had some back luck with spin in the first lap and after some laps someone spun in front of me which I had no chance to avoid.
In Hockenheim I can be brief, my start was not bad but not great. After the first turn my rear left wheel hit the grass slighty makes me spin and hit the wall. Lost my wheel and rear wing so race over.
Michael Francesconi (Eventa by Pescara SHS Ace)
- Welcome Michael. Your steady results are making the 2015 your best FSR season. You seems more determined or less busy than previous years. What's your season target?
- Hi, yes this is my best year here on FSR. With rFactor2 I can use consistency although in terms of speed there is still some to find. I'm getting better with every race and this sixth place is definitely an encouraging result especially regarding race pace. Now I just need to continue like this and improve race after race. As for my goal, looking at the standings it is definitely pointing to the top 10. I honestly think it is a goal within my reach and perhaps with a bit of luck to get a podium before the end of the season. we'll see.