A difficult Hockenheim weekend

Published on September 8th, 2010

Junior Lotus Racing fought through a tough race at Hockenheim today as the Formula Renault 3.5 Series reconvened after its two-month summer break. During the qualifications, Nelson Panciatici put his car into a top-10 grid position, but an accident put him out on the first lap of the race.

Team manager Peter Crolla said: “It has been a tough weekend from the start. Nelson had a couple of incidents during the free practice, including someone running into the back of him. During the qualifications Nelson had just left the pit-lane when the red flag came out, which meant had to return to the pits after getting his tyres up to temperature. That definitely cost us. Nelson unfortunately had some contact in the pack on the first lap of the race. He took a bump and that put him out.”

The next day, Junior Lotus Racing brought both its cars to the finish of the second Formula Renault 3.5 Series race at Hockenheim. In a tough race, Nelson Panciatici claimed 13th place, with Daniil Move in 17th.

Frenchman Panciatici’s hopes were once again hampered by an ill-timed session stoppage in qualifying, the red flags appeared just a second before he crossed the line to claim what would have been third position at that point. When the session restarted, he took a disappointed 15th on the grid.

Team manager Peter Crolla said: “Unfortunately the red flags caught us out for the second time this weekend. Everything was looking good on Nelson’s run, but because he had to do it all over again after the red flag the peak performance of the tyres had gone because they were no longer on their initial heat cycle.”

Panciatici raced into the top 10, but then lost some places. He then had a very quick pit-stop, the third fastest of the race, before racing to his 13th position.

“We were very happy with the quick pit work,” added Crolla.

“He got involved in a couple of fights before he brought it home. It was a shame not to take any points, but Nelson injured his thumb in the incident in yesterday’s race and that gave him a little bit of discomfort, which didn’t help.”

Next round of the World Series by Renault, for which Formula Renault 3.5 is the headline act, is at the British Grand Prix circuit of Silverstone on September 18/19 – the local event for Wellingborough-based Junior Lotus Racing.

“It’s been a disappointing weekend at Hockenheim, but Silverstone will be a very big weekend that usually pulls in a crowd of 120,000 people. It’s a circuit that both drivers have experience on, so we are planning to move forward and take some good results from the weekend,” said Crolla.

words & pix: Junior Lotus Racing


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