Fourth and fifth for the Inter Europol Competition team
The Inter Europol Competition team went straight from the ELMS race weekend at Le Castellet to Magny Cours for the second race of the VdeV. Kuba Smiechowski and Pontus Fredricsson shared the #22 LMP while Paul Scheuschner and last years’ teammate of Smiechowski, Hendrik Still partnered in the #33 LMP3. The #22 started as fifth and the #33 as 11th. After a race in much better conditions than the disastrous rained out race at Barcelona, after some confusion about the drivethroughs for the #33 and a drivethrough penalty for the #22, they finished 4th and 5th.
Paul Scheuschner started the race as the Gentleman driver in the #33 LMP3 and in the first lap moved up from 11th to 8th. Pontus Fredricsson (Open driver) started in the #22 car but fell back to 6th. In the VdeV the Balance of Performance are the drivethroughs. The VdeV has their own driver categories and each get a certain number of drivethroughs. A total of eight for the #22 (an Elite and Open driver) and five for the #33 (an Elite and Gentleman driver). Eventhough the system works, it makes following the race not easy.
After one hour of racing the #22 was in 11th place and done four drivethroughs, the #33 7th and done two.
The second hour of the race was a bit of a problematic one. It started with a starter problem at a fuel stop for the #22. The car got pushed to start by the refulling crew (the refulling does not take place in front of the pitbox). But in the way this was done, it was not allowed and the #22 got a drivethrough penalty which had to be taken in front of the pit box. The #33 car made the mistake of having Scheuschner, the Gentleman driver, do the drivethroughs. This rule change was done at Barcelona but not officially posted on the website of the VdeV so it was missed. Still had to do them all five again. By the end of the second hour the #3 was in second place and the #22 in 6th place.
With one hour to go, Still in the #33 was in first place and Smiechowski in 4th. But Still still had to do the five drivethroughs. No more drivethroughs were left for Smiechowski to do, so he could push. With three minutes to go, Smiechowski was overtaken by the #20 LMP3 and dropped out of the reach of the podium. The #22 finished fourth and the #33 fifth.
Michael Keese, Technical Director: ”This was a difficult weekend where we made some mistakes because not everything was very clear. I am very sorry for my clients that some things went wrong, but the championship is just not very well organised. We have to work with what the series gives us, but this is not easy. One month after the Barcelona race the VdeV wants to take the points of the race away. Because of the rain! This weekend even the simplest but very important things, like a flag and a national anthem for our Swedish FR2.0 driver Edward Jonasson who won the second race, they couldn’t get right. Both weren’t there! It was the worst podium performance of an organiser in all the 30 or so years I have worked in motorsports.”
One podium place each for the Inter Europol Competition Formula Renault 2.0 drivers
Race 1 Edward Jonasson #8 started from 5th finished 5th
Nico Varrone #11 started from 2nd finished 3rd
Race 2 Edward Jonasson #8 started from 6th finished 1st
Nico Varrone #11 started from 1st finished 11th
ELMS Monza 12 – 13 May