GT Radial Eurasia return to the E1 Championship podium at Monza
Date posted on October 20, 2021 · Published by eurasiapr
There was something new and rather surprising for the elite sim racers this week in the seventh and penultimate round of the E1 Championship, featuring the modern Formula 1 layout, plus the original steeply banked oval that thankfully is still in situ today. To make it even more interesting, the Lotus 49 which first raced in 1967, was selected for the 17-car field.
The Colin Chapman design remains an all-time classic and features limited horsepower, reliance on mechanical grip – as opposed to aero-induced downforce – and cross-ply tyres from the era, rather than the modern radial construction.
For GT Radial Eurasia and its two Filipino racers Inigo Anton and Juaquin Garrido, this latest challenge, combined it a great new GT Radial livery brought a welcome return to the podium for the former, while the latter was again flat out of luck.
Qualifying saw Inigo right at the sharp end of the field, pushing for pole position but ultimately having to settle for second position and a front row start for the 15-minute Sprint. Joaquin lined up 12th, but was still confident of a good showing at a circuit where the starting was not expected to be crucial to the race result. Sadly for him, the evening was not about to get any easier.
To say that it was a close Sprint race was an understatement. Inigo got the jump from the standing start to lead the field around the Monza banking on the first lap, dropping back to third after rejoining the modern circuit at the exit of Alboreto Parabolica. Slight contact with Kalen Chin slowed him further and dropped him to eighth place and from that point onwards, it was a case of race on.
With five seconds and seven places separating Inigo from the race lead, it was head down and push on. Championship leader Josh Purwien crashed out and then a great battle followed between Inigo Al Muhammad Aleef and Muhammad Ibrahim.
A dramatic slipstream special over the final lap saw him pass Joshua Thomas as well as both Team Flash racers to claim a great third position, just 4.5 seconds behind the race winner. Joaquin’s race was a short one sadly, as he was involved in a four-car collision at the first turn. He was able to resume, but two minutes behind the field to finish 14th.
“It was a great challenge for our drivers this week, utilising the Monza Combined layout,” said Team Principal Mark Goddard. “While we were out of luck in the reverse grid race, credit to Inigo for his consistency and patience in the Sprint and a fine podium position. The GT Radial car looked great and now we look forward to the season finale and the double points on offer!”
The reverse grid race was unfortunately forgettable with both GT Radial Eurasia drivers involved in multi-car incidents on the first lap, leaving them over a lap adrift. Inigo and Joaquin finished 13th and 16th respectively.
The final round of E1 Championship Season Two takes place in two weeks’ time at Silverstone, home of British motorsport and the circuit that hosted the very first Formula 1 championship race in 1950.
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