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JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Suzuka International Racing Course. 24 September 2019
February 02, 2014

 

Back with his third diary and a further look at some of the teams lining up on the Superleague grid in 2014 is Tom van der Voort, who this week discusses 'frustration'.

Frustration,

Oh boy I could write an entire book about this. There have been so many moments of frustration in my life that if I were to get a penny for each time, I would be quite rich by now. From not being able to keep up with Ruud, to just sucking in general at racing. From getting up early in the morning, to waiting in your pitbox until the rain stops. Then accepting the fact that it won't stop and you don't have much time left to put in your test laps.

Okay, these aren't really the best examples of why someone would be frustrated. But for me, its the stupid small things that get me. Like riding your bike with a heavy headwind. Apart from making you tired and costing you some time, it won't affect the fate of the universe. Frustration is dug into little things. Small things that stack up and eventually overflow, resulting in either a mental breakdown, or a murdering frenzy. Or when you're Dave Carr-Smith, a disappointed sigh.

The Nurburgring test had me frustrated though. No one wanted to battle, and the rain was the only thing that really made it interesting. Other than that no real surprises here. Top teams were sandbagging, some of us were lucky to be on a dry track, others weren't. And I still don't think we can take anything from these tests so I'll just continue my thoughts on the Superleague teams this year.

Nordsjoen Racing. As far as my knowledge goes, this is a former top team, now struggling to keep both cars on the grid. Last year was by far a good year. Starting with a promising line up that very quickly disappeared, Nordsjoen Racing found at least one reliable driver in Jordan Weekes. With the other seat constantly being swapped in between the likes of Sven de Vries, Steven Diem, Pavel Loknovski and Mikko Suokas. In the new season, these problems haven't been solved yet. While they have an increadibly fast and strong driver in Augustin Canapino, the second seat is still empty. Even having to resort to ex-driver Dave Carr-Smith to do some pre-season testing, Nordsjoen Racing is not looking good. Yet. I'm sure William Ponissi will find another driver. As far as Canapino goes, damn. This looks bad for me. In the few Supercup races he did he even managed to give Rainieri a run for his money. Not sure how he fares in the Superleague car but I don't suspect him to be somewhere in the midfield. If Nordsjoen finds another guy like him, they're ready to take this season head on.

Hawkeye Racing. Losing star driver Lewis Redshaw to CSG, Ric Scott took chances and succeeded. Hiring Harley Hamnett, who performed very well last year in the ST Racing car. And Gergo Baldi, who to me is known as a quality driver from FSR. This obviously does not guarantee his success in the Superleague, but he has a damn good chance. Hawkeye last year was a very underrated team. This year will be different. With their current line up they are as much of a threat as Torrent or Nordsjoen. If Scott spends his money wisely and develops the car towards his drivers, there will be more in it for them than just one podium finish.

Red Archer Virtual Racing Team. As with Hawkeye, both drivers left the team. David Jundt is now driving Formula Challenge and is test driver for Nijo, and Jason Muscat dropped back to Supercup. The team hired Tommy Hagen and Dennis Lind early on. But fired Lind just as fast as he got hired. Leaving the team with just one driver and having to call Muscat to help with the first pre-season test. Now left with only one driver, Red Archer is not looking too well. In Tommy Hagen they at least found a driver that is reliable and knowledgeable. Whether he will survive in a field as competitive as this, I don't know. There is no way to know until the flag drops in Melbourne.

Kernow Sport. A midfield team last year, brought to points by signing Lee Morris halfway through the season. Obviously Mr Morris does not need an introduction. Successful for years, the main thing that gets in his way is a short fuse. After being fired from Nordsjoen last season, he single handedly took Kernow to where it is now. Morris looked very strong in the second pre-season test setting the fastest lap time. If he can keep his head cool I expect some strong races from this guy. Their other driver, Sam Millar. Well, he tests a lot. That's for certain. I don't know much about him, but at least Kernow has a guy willing to put in the hours. With a staggering 152 laps in Imola, he lapped nearly three times as much as most of the other drivers. No lack of dedication with this guy, and with Lee Morris as his team mate, this time they might be up for their best Superleague season yet.

To be continued...



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