Points despite tough weekend06-08-06
On the Nürburgring Carlo van Dam drove two races for the highly competitive Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The Dutchman took home a sixth and an eight place from the German Eifel region, where the races were held under changing weather circumstances, adding several championship points to his total. The overall result was a bit disappointing for the SG Formula driver, because his main rivals also scored valuable points. After eight races, driven as support races of the World Series by Renault, Carlo is now fifth overall with 44 championship points.
FREE PRACTICES + QUALIFICATION:
During the free practices Van Dam immediately got up to speed. In the first session over thirty minutes the Dutch driver worked very hard on the set-up of his race car, which resulted in an excellent second place. With a 1:59.987 he only had Chris van der Drift (JD Motorsport) ahead of him. In the second free practice on Friday afternoon, which was driven on a very wet track, Van Dam once again set a very good lap time. The S-T-A-R-T driver was once again the fastest SG Formula driver of the day, finishing on fifth place. In contrast to the free practices the qualifying session was less successful. The team had worked on the set-up of the car for quite a long time, but Van Dam soon realised that the renewed set-up would not lead to the results that were wished for. The driver from Vlaardingen lost his faith in the car and made some mistakes, for which he was immediately punished because of the large field of 39 cars. With too much oversteer Van Dam qualified in eighth position. His second fastest lap meant he would start Sunday’s race on ninth place.
RACE 01 + 02: In the first race Van Dam started well on a dry circuit. After surviving the first turn Van Dam got stuck between several other cars. In the battle to the next corner he tried to win a place but was hit by a team mate, which resulted in a damaged steering rod. With this bent steering rod Van Dam had to try to make his way through the field. Despite the handicap he knew to catch up with Brendon Hartley, driving for Motorsport Arena. Van Dam was obviously quicker than the New-Zealander but he was not able to pass him. He remained calm and patient and increased the pressure on the Red Bull-driver. In the ninth lap Harley’s resistance broke and he had to allow Van Dam to pass him in the last corner before start-finish. With only a few laps left the driver in French service went after Andersen. Van Dam tried to close the gap to the number five, but there was no time left to give the Danish driver a hard time. The number 6 driver ended his race on the sixth place.
Van Dam had a really good start in the final race and went on to pass John Edwards. Just like the first race the 20-year old driver was seeing the Red Bull wings of Hartley for the next few laps. The Motorsport Arena-driver managed to escape from Van Dam’s pressure this team and instead overtook Carlo’s team mate Jean Karl Vernay to get sixth place. This resulted in Van Dam being behind Vernay on the track. Both drivers stayed in these positions until they crossed the finish line. After fourteen laps Van Dam ended the race in eighth position, enough to add some valuable championship points to his total.
CARLO VAN DAM: “The weekend was disappointing for me. We did not get it right during qualification, which meant I had to start the races from a seventh and ninth place. Despite this I managed to add several points to my total, which means I am still in the race for a good final classification. Furthermore I want to thank my team for their commitment, because they did everything they could to set-up the car as good as possible. I hope we will have a change of fortune after this short summer break so that we can win races from Donington on. I am really confident that it will be alright!”