Very strong races result in Magny Cours podium finish!22-10-06
In the final races for the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship Carlo van Dam made his influence felt again. The only Dutchman participating in this championship took a podium place in the openings race on the French Magny Cours circuit by finishing third. In the last race of the season, driven this afternoon, the S-T-A-R-T driver was driving in a comfortable second place when an engine failure spoilt the game with only a few laps left to go. Despite this Van Dam is looking back to his races with a positive feeling and will go to Barcelona with a lot of self-confidence. In Barcelona the 20-year old driver will do a serious attempt to clinch the European title in the Formula Renault 2.0 championship. Being just four points behind championship leader Chris van der Drift, the SG Formula-driver can crown all his work by taking the title on Spanish soil.
QUALIFICATION + RACE 01:
The free practices were successful for Van Dam. In the first practice session he took third place on a new set of tyres. In the second practice on the 4.251 meter long track he ended in sixth position. The first qualification of Saturday was driven on a drying track. Van Dam went for a quick lap, but was constantly hindered by traffic. When he managed to create just enough space for a flying lap Van Dam made a mistake. He had to be satisfied with an eighth place. On Saturday afternoon the first race of this weekend was driven.
When the lights went out for the first time Van Dam had an impressive start and was able to overtake four drivers in only the first lap. Van Dam raised the pressure even further and managed to overtake Mathieu Arzeno in the Estoril corner in a nice move. After that move Van Dam was behind Nicolas Maulini and he outbraked the French driver in the Adelaide turn, taking another position. After fifteen laps he crossed the finish line in third place after a race full of overtaking manoeuvres. SG Formula reigned supreme at Magny Cours, the first four places taken by the French squad.
QUALIFICATION + RACE 02:
Similar to Saturday the drivers had to cope with changing weather conditions on Sunday. Early in the morning Van Dam had to set a good time on the clocks for the final race later that day. On a drying track the lap times were getting faster and faster as the session progressed and it turned out to be quite a spectacle for the teams. Half way the session Van Dam was also setting fast lap times and was on provisional pole for a long time. But in his final hotlap he was hindered and eventually dropped back to fifth position.
In the second race Van Dam started very well again and got rid of Alexandre Marsoin. After that he pushed through to second place by overtaking Tom Dillmann and Julien Canal. In a record time he closed the gap to the leader of the race, Jean Karl Vernay. Van Dam was eagerly biding his time behind his team mate when his engine failed with just two laps to go. Van Dam was not only forced to retire his car but also saw a possible race victory in the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship go up in smoke.
CARLO VAN DAM: “It is a pity that I had to retire in race two, because I really found the pace. In the first race I came from eighth place and managed to get all the way up into third place. In the qualifying sessions I could not get to grip with the drying track, which meant I had to work myself up the field and I succeeded in that. In the races of the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship that I participated I only finished three times, but managed to get on the podium two times! Just as in the last race of this afternoon, I had some bad luck. Otherwise I could have been much higher in the championship. Anyways I am happy to be in the right rhythm and we will prepare ourselves together for the most important race weekend which is planned for next weekend. It promises to become a very exciting race for the title in Barcelona. I will do everything in my might to capture the European title!”