Super Trofeo Championship - Race 2 - Paul Ricard
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the teams took to Paul Ricard. Having an extended time to practice on the circuit was fruitful, as the weather was daunting. Was it raining enough to not overheat the Wets? Or only enough where dry tires were faster? The grid started here:
Into turn one, Freitas maintains the lead, while everyone behind begins jockeying for position. Davies gets the braking for T2 wrong and tags the rear of Mathews sending him off into Narnia. Harris gets entangled with Mathews as he has no escape, seeing the carnage ahead. Everyone carries on without a hitch, seemingly small amounts of damage possible. On the back straight all stays status quo but for Cooper who makes the move on Argitsu, and a few corners later, Curto makes an ambitious dive on Rajakorpi. Curto spins and drops a few positions but Rajakorpi manages to carry on in 3rd with Maia close behind.
Lap two sees Curto move back up one position, taking Argitsu on the back straight. And on Lap 2 into T1 Curto manages to take back 8th from Cooper. Narrowly pulling ahead of Maia on the back straight, Greaves takes 4th. Further back, Harris has a tank slapper onto the back straight and heads straight on into the outside wall, he gets back on the road, but only after Davies rolls by.
Lap 3 sees Endresz and Freitas with a bit of a door bang into T1, Endresz remaining the victor there, with neither seeming to retain too much damage. Curto continues his push to the front, bumping Freitas into the 3rd sector and off the track.
Lap 4 begins with 4-7th place within 2 seconds of each other. Maia and Greaves switched positions and now Endresz and Curto are hot on their tails. On lap 9, Curto dove down Greaves on the inside of T12, and right away Greaves was calculating his next move. Getting a better run out of T15 onto the front straight, Greaves pulls alongside Curto on lap 10, and gives him the squeeze at T1, and then expecting Greaves to take all of the outside curbing, Curto bangs into Greaves' door and spins.
During this phase of the race is where things get turned on their head, who fixes any damage they have, did they get their fuel wrong? It starts with Davies and Andrews jumping first followed by Harris, Maia, and Endresz, but we won't see the outcome for a number of laps until others have pit. Next is Freitas from the lead, leaving Davidson to run in clean air with Rajakorpi some 4 seconds behind. Cooper pits next, followed by Smelly. Davidson has had enough and pits from first, leaving Rajakorpi to run alone now. Greaves comes in from 3rd, followed by Curto and Argitsu. Freitas comes in from 6th followed by Mathews. Rajakorpi is the last to pit, not counting Argitsu's second stop after his tire pressure issues. This leaves us with this order:
The Final Sprint
Curto gets by Endresz on lap 16 before the straight, which gave Endresz the ability to challenge on the straight but nothing doing there. Maia is now catching Endresz and gets by on T14 with a bold move up the inside. During this midfield battle however, Freitas has been catching Davidson slow but sure for the last 10+ laps and the gap is under 2 seconds. Also 12-14 is well contested with multiple drag races down the back straight. By lap 25 that pack is all but decided with Argitsu 12th, Davies 13th and Smelly 14th. Freitas takes 9th from Andrews on the back straight and Endresz is right on Maia's tail for 5th. In the end, the last lap battle was between Cooper, Davidson and Freitas. Having Cooper in front of Davidson caused just enough of a slowdown to get Freitas close, and at the end of the back straight, they both sent it, and Davidson ended up in a spin towards the inside barrier after some very odd door banging at near on 200kph! Endresz could not make it by Maia after many laps of trying, and Andrews was able to keep Cooper at bay. Your final standings*:
*Pending post race penalties