Second place for Smiechowski/Fredricsson Fifth for Scheuschner/Müller-Crepon
On this very grey Sunday the penultimate round of the VdeV championship took place at le Mans. Kuba Smiechowski qualified the #22 LMP3 third on the grid which was the best qualifying result this season. With teammate Pontus Fredricsson they won the race but finished second because of a 40 second time penalty. Swiss Moritz Müller-Crepon qualified the #33 on seventh place. Paul Scheuschner and Müller-Crepon finished fifth in a dramatic fashion.
The #22 has seven handicap drive through of which Fredricsson took six in the first hour. Scheuschner, the gentleman driver, is not allowed to take drive through, so the three the #33 LMP3 has, were done by Müller-Crepon in his stint.
On the first lap of the race a car spun which affected Paul Scheuschner who fell back to 11th. Pontus Fredricsson took his advantage and moved up one spot and then fought with the leader car the #30 which he overtook to lead the field.
Positions after one hour: #22 – 7thand #33 – 13th
30 minutes into the second hour the #22 was put on slick tyres while Fredricsson remained in the car. The #33 with Scheuschner stayed out on rain tyres.
Positions after two hours: #22 – 2ndand #33 – 4th
The driver change, and change to slick tyres for the #33 happened at the two-hour mark. Moritz Müller-Crepon took over from Paul Scheuschner. The track was declared dry and no more rain was expected.
With one hour and 40 minutes to go Fredricsson handed over the car to Smiechowski while in first place. At the end of Fredricsson’s stint he got a stop and go penalty because a touch with the #39 who he was trying to pass.
Positions with one hour to go: #22 – 2ndand #33 – 3rd
The last 36 minutes of the race were the most exciting. Smiechowski (on his way to the top of the leaderboard) and the #69 of Monza Garage (3 laps down) fought for three corners. They touched and the #69 stranded and got pushed from the track. A safety car period followed. After the restart Müller-Crepon moved up to second position. Then a fierce battle between Müller-Crepon and the #72 car (third position) and the #20 (in seventh place). Müller-Crepon let the #20 (DB Autosport) pass but kept in front of the #72 of TFT racing.
Then the #33 got a flat right rear tyre. With a quick tyre change done, Müller-Crepon kept pushing and still managed the car to finish in fifth position. Smiechowski and Fredricsson crossed the finish line first but because of the incident with the #69 they received a 40 second penalty and finished second.
Finish: #22 second and #33 fifth.
Pontus Fredricsson:“I really like driving in the rain. Even though there was no rain, I do enjoy racing on a wet track more than on a dry track. I passed the leader on my second lap and put pull a gap. It was very hard to see that the track was drying out. The windscreen was so dirty that the track still looked wet. But I am happy with my stint and felt good that I handed the car over to Kuba in first place.”
Paul Scheuschner:“Le Mans is a great track even if today it was also very tricky under these circumstances. I had to drive my two-hour stint with a dirty windscreen and could not see if the track was dry or still wet. It was a good day to further develop my skills and I think I made the best out of it. Proud to have handed over my car in third place.”
In the team’s Formula Renault 2.0, Edward Jonasson had a good weekend.
He qualified sixth in race one and fourth for race two. He finished fourth in the first race and won the second which was his fifth podium this year.