Dramatic end to the season at the Macau GP

Date posted on November 24, 2009 · Published by Mark Goddard

CW GridChris Wootton had qualified second Pacific Series driver with Axcil Jefferies two spots behind. Jefferies went on to finish second Pacific Series driver in the race whilst Wootton proved the strength of the cars after walking away from a 200kph impact on the first lap of the race. Another competitor had pushed the Australian into the wall and this triggered an eleven car accident which must surely be the most spectacular in the history of F.BMW.

Wootton was confident of a good result after a good qualifying run, as was Axcil Jefferies who had gone well on his first visit to the Macau GP circuit. British Formula Ford Champion, James Cole was improving with every lap as he learnt both car and circuit and would start from the middle of the field whilst Paul Lau enjoyed an incident free qualifying session and was looking forward to the race.

At the start the entire field made it though the first turn unscathed but it all went wrong at the infamous Mandarin Bend which is taken flat out at 225kph on a normal lap. Rio Haryanto led a train consisting of Jazeman Jaafar and Calvin Wong on the run up to the corner with Chris Wootton to Wong’s left. Haryanto slowed more than Jazeman expected causing him to touch the back of Haryanto’s car. Wong swerved to his left to avoid contact, hit Wootton and both speared into the wall. Chaos then ensued as eleven cars ended their race on the spot in the most spectacular accident seen in F.BMW.

The race was immediately suspended by the safety car and only Jefferies seemed to have escaped undamaged by the incident. Paul Lau was out with rear suspension damage whilst James Cole limped round to the pits to have his rear wing replaced. He rejoined two laps down but then ended his race with front suspension damage after sliding off at Fishermans Bend. “Too fast on cold tyres” reported Cole. The experience Cole gained should stand him in good stead when he hopefully returns in the future to compete in F3.

Meanwhile Jefferies completed the race in fifth place, second in the Pacific points, after battling a strangely handling car. The cause was evident when he returned to the pit garage with a huge chunk missing from a front wheel rim, after running over debris in the first lap accident, which had resulted in a slow puncture. “It was a miracle the tyre did not totally deflate and it was definitely my lucky day today” reported the Zimbabwean.

Despite having three of its four cars non-finishing Eurasia Motorsport finished second in the 2009 Team Championship. Axcil Jefferies was third overall in the driver’s championship and second in the Rookie Cup Championship. Chris Wootton demonstrated his speed (he holds the fastest ever qualifying lap on the Sepang GP Circuit) this season but went away from Macau frustrated by being involved in another incident in which he was the totally innocent party.

“Axcil did a tremendous job in his first year of racing with far less seat time than his rivals and he has demonstrated he has a great career ahead of him. Chris has shown us he has the speed to succeed, it just seemed his car was a target for any driver who was intent on being over-aggressive or out of control this year. We have been impressed by his continued application despite the bad luck and I am sure he also has a great career ahead of him” stated Mark Goddard.