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JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Suzuka International Racing Course. 24 September 2019
May 07, 2011
Published on tags: Superleague
Constant Racing had a quiet start of the season, alternating excellent results such as China and lacklustre performances such as South Africa. Owner and lead driver Mark Stanton held an analysis after Kyalami, with a quarter of the races of the season already under the belt, and was able to cast light on the ups and downs of the team so far.

"As a driver, personally, I've not had as good a start as I was hoping for. I retired at Melbourne, but I was partially expecting that as every year so far that circuit bites at turn 11 to end my race. Abu Dhabi was a race a was looking forward to and if it hadn't been for a miscalculation on my part I could have finished 6th. In the end I got 8th, which is still a few points, but I know that could have been a stronger finish for me. Suzuka is one of my least favourite tracks, but I generally have reasonable pace there, unfortunately though I only had enough for 10th place which was a shame" said the St.Helens based driver looking at his first performances.

A good point in Stanton's early season came in China: "Things were looking up at Shanghai and I think I surprised everyone, myself included, when I managed to qualify 2nd, and almost take Pole. The race itself, bar a couple errors, was very good and I finished 5th and got the overall fastest lap which I was very happy about. For Kyalami I was never expecting to finish. It is my least favourite track, I hate the place, but managed to crawl home 11th. Didn't get any points, but it's better than a DNF I guess."

Despite racking up only 10 points so far - the whole tally for the team - Stanton looks ahead to the next few races. "The next 5 races should be quite good for me. I really like the Red Bull Ring, and I have always been quite strong at Silverstone so I'm hoping for good results there. Bahrain is an unusual track but I've had good results there in the past. France could be interesting as I've never raced there, but I think it could be a good race. And obviously Monaco will be a real challenge as it always is, but I've never retired there and I don't intend to change that this year."

The situation looks less rosy for Constant's second driver, experienced William Ponissi, who is yet to score a point this season. "I am disappointed about my results, but not too much about my performances: the gap with the leaders has been quite contained and, in such a tight field, it's easy to slip down the order. I haven't got any points to show for it, though, and that is a shame as I did run pretty well in places like Abu Dhabi."

Stanton also added: "As a team we've not gotten off to as good a start this year as I was hoping, but considering how much faster the field has gotten, and our less than preferable group of tracks in the first 5 races it's not a big surprise. After all, we didn't have the best start last season, but finished well overall. Before the season I was expecting the Red Archers to be our main rivals as we were running the same basic package, however they've gotten a great jump on the R&D it seems. Something which we are only now steadily catching up with. We've got some good circuits coming up and hopefully we'll have some good strong Grand Prix."

One welcome boost to Constant Racing will be the fielding of wonder driver Fernando Laaff in the next two races. The German-Brazilian driver is thought to be on a rotation arrangement with William Ponissi, and will take part in Austria and France. Having impressed in pre-season, when he often finished on par with the likes of Consiglio and Morris, Laaff is expected to be fighting for podiums on a regular basis and thus improve the team's fortunes massively.



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