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PRE-SEASON TEST
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. 20 February 2018
February 07, 2014

 

Joshua Anderson takes a look back at the sixth round of the 2013/14 ITC season, with the American Touring Cup from Watkins Glen.
Race 1

After an exciting qualifying session, it was Toby Davis for THR who took pole position for Race 1, qualifying just 0.12s ahead of Enterprise GP's Tom Parker, with the Triple Twenty of Bart de Vos not much further behind in 3rd place. Joshua Anderson was the sole driver to start from the pit lane, after qualifying 36th.

At the start, de Vos got a fantastic start, but it wasn't enough to take the lead from Davis who held onto the lead. James Kirk for Woods Racing got a good start also, moving up into 4th place by the second corner. However, the first chicane proved difficult for some drivers, with Racing Team Schroten's Simon Melhuish, who won Race 3 of the previous event in Canada, getting airborne and clashing with Mark Wicks and Scott Sovik. Back at the front, Davis and Parker battled for first place, with Parker getting the position from Davis in the penultimate corner of lap 2, but ran wide allowing Davis to regain the place, whilst Michael Ballard had an altercation with the barrier, forcing him to dive into the pits from 6th place.

The incidents at the chicane continued; Paul Watkins' TWR went off forcing him down to 32nd place, and was followed by Sven de Vries just 1 lap later. Meanwhile, two battles were beginning to emerge; Parker vs. Davis for the lead, and Holm vs. de Vos for 3rd place. Parker took the lead again at the start of lap 4, and Hold overtook de Vos for third in the second corner. Davis attempted an ultimately fruitless counter-attack in the chicane, leaving Parker to end the lap in the lead. However, the chicane would strike again; this time for both Davis and Parker, with Davis regaining the lead as a result of Parker retiring, making it a provisional THR 1-2. The two teammates would battle it out for the lead for the remainder of the race, whilst de Vos chased them in third, while Robert Wiesenmuller's luck failed to improve with him crashing out on lap 7 after being stripped of his victory in Canada. Wiesenmuller took both YTF1's Mikael Tuomaala and Wauters Automotive's Keeney Lybeer with him; the former managed to continue the race.

With just 3 laps to go, it all went wrong for Toby Davis; he went off at the chicane, handing 2nd place to Jordan Weekes, and losing 3rd to de Vos and 4th to Ruud Hesterbeek in the first few turns of the next lap. He then proceeded to go off after the chicane, and dropped back to 6th place, where he would finish the race. Holm took the win, with Weekes finishing 2nd and Hesterbeek 3rd. De Vos finished 4th, with James Kirk ending up 5th. Other finishers included Lewis McGlade ending up in the top-10 for the first time this season, and newcomer Alexander van der Woude finishing an impressive 24th for Measuric Racing on his GPVWC debut.

Race 2

With the grid set, weights added, Holm on pole and all drivers taking the start from the grid, an exciting Race 2 was ready to get underway. Weekes took the lead from Holm out of turn 1, with de Vos's race getting a bad start after being turned around and sent into the wall and last place. Weekes and Holm's fight took to the chicane; no position changes occurred, but Anderson, Wicks and Juen-Jen Wang all had an altercation, causing them to lose time and track position. Davis made up for his disappointing Race 1, moving up to 3rd place by the start of lap 2, and overtaking Kirk for 3rd place in the first turn, with Weekes still leading.

A very brave move from Davis in the chicane allowed him to take 2nd place and fight for the lead; Holm dropped to P3 and Kirk went all the way back to 6th. Disaster struck for Weekes however; he hit the wall on the start of lap 3. Thomas Jacobs for the Playseat team took full advantage of the ensuing carnage to move up and take the lead. Lap 4; and Davis took the lead from Jacobs, with Eric Tveit in the Ice Cold now third. Lap 5, and having took 2nd in the last corner of the previous lap despite going wide, Tveit set his sights on the lead. Jacobs continued to fight him for the place, despite Hesterbeek catching up to him in 4th. There were no major changes in the top-4 until lap 10, when Hesterbeek overtook Jacobs for 3rd. James Kirk in P5 continued to pressure the top-4, whilst Ruud went on a charge and took 2nd from Tveit, who was now within Jacobs' grasp. However, none could catch Davis, who made it 2 out of 2 for THR. Heesterbeek finished 2nd, followed by Tveit, Jacobs and Kirk in 5th.

Race 3

The "magic number" for this race was 16; thus positions 1-16 were reversed from Race 2, meaning YTF1's Morten Wernersen started from pole, ahead of Matt Richards, Cameron Brewster and Ben Hackeson. At the start, Richards got ahead of Wernersen, as Paul Watkins spun and was sent to the back. After a reasonably long run of no incidents at the chicane, it all kicked off again; Hackeson got airborne, taking Roy Schroten and Cameron Brewster with him, but another major incident at the chicane was to follow on the next lap;  Tveit hit Davis, and the two Vod:Bul cars of Kantonen and Hesterbeek  had an altercation, causing Kantonen to lose his rear wing, and both Jacobs and Davis to be punted off the track, and when Davis tried to recover he spun - right into the path of Hawkeye's Mark Wicks, who was in turn hit by the TSA of Matthew Williams.

Luckily, the race calmed down considerably by half-distance, with the field settling down to just 31 cars. Martin Palm moved up to 2nd ahead of Wernersen, who was then overtaken by Eric Stranne on lap 7. In his attempt to retake 3rd, however, he crashed out at the chicane, and ended his race, moving Sven de Vries up to 4th. Lap 9 saw Lewis McGlade have an amusing incident at the chicane, as he flipped his BMW, but was luckily able to continue on. With 2 laps to go, Jordan Weekes ended his race by going wide at the first corner of the chicane. Richards would eventually score the win, with Palm finishing 2nd ahead of Stranne and de Vries, with Holm 5th. Other mentions include Michael Ballard in 7th, Tuomaala in 10th, van der Woude in a respectable 19th, and Joshua Anderson gaining a career-best finish of 21st.




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