Great pace, but contact ends E1 Championship victory hopes in Hungary
Date posted on May 26, 2021 · Published by eurasiapr
The penultimate round of season 1 of the E1 Championship brought plenty of promise and quite a bit of drama for GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport, with both Inigo Anton and ‘Wakkeen’ Joaquin Garrido showing great pace, but ultimately suffering in today’s two rounds at the Hungaroring from contact with others and a little bad luck.
Inigo was right on the ultimate pace in qualifying, pushing for pole position before a slide on his final run forced him to settle for second position, still a fine achievement to start from the front row of the grid.
The team opted to run to the flag in the opening 15-minute sprint race, aiming to look after the tyres and push hard in the final laps for position. Inigo lost out at the start, dropping to third place behind Naquib Azlan and finding himself in a DRS-train, there was little he could do on the main straight as the field closed up behind. Contact from Ayman Aqeem saw him lose ground, dropping down the field before finishing in tenth position.
Wakkeen meanwhile started 12th and was running well before he too suffered contact and was forced to pit for repairs. Now down in 24th position with two laps to go, the young Filipino put in a great run to the flag, finishing in 20th place.
Having struggled a little with tyres wear in the sprint race, the main 30-minute race saw the GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport opt to start on the harder tyre compound with a view to running long and then boxing in the final stages for the soft rubber.
Inigo started the main race third on the grid and made a fantastic start to lead the field exiting the first turn. With his rivals on softer compounds and in his tow on the main straight, it was unsurprising that his rivals were quicker in terms of top-end speed on the main straight.
There was however no accounting for the eventual race winner Naquib Azlan drilling into the back of Inigo on lap three. The contact sent him into a wild spin, damaging the suspension and ending any hopes of racing for the win as he resumed in 11th place.
Very much a race that might have been, the action continued with Inigo pushing hard, making a great pass for position on the final lap from Josh Purwien, to finish in eighth position.
Meanwhile, Wakkeen was racing hard from 20th on the grid – also running long on the harder tyres – dispatching a number of his rivals to run 13th behind Aiman Haziq before taking the position. A fantastic battle with Mikko Nassi in the final stages brought further drama before he settled for the 12th place finish.
The conclusion of season 1 takes place next Wednesday at the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit next Wednesday.
Mark Goddard, GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport Team Principal
“Both drivers had their races spoiled by contact that was not their fault. It’s a shame because the GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport cars had a competitive pace. The tyre strategy could have worked, I think a race two win was possible. We now look forward to achieving a good result in the final round. We are due for some better luck!”
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