Little Mistake Costs Jaxon Evans Podium Finish at First Race at Spa-Francorchamps
The first race of the fourth weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup France was not the luckiest of all for the two title contenders of BWT Lechner Racing. Jaxon Evans seemed to be on his way to a podium finish again, when a little mistake dropped him back to P4. JB Simmenauer, who went into the weekend as championship leader, finished in P5.
Evans started from P3 on the grid, having thought to be on the front row of the grid, but in the last minute Marvin Klein was given back a qualifying lap that had been previously deleted due to tracklimits. “I tried to gain a position at the start when Klein and Güven were fighting each other, but it didn´t work out, and I even lost a bit of contact to them in the beginning” said the Porsche Junior from New Zealand. He was lying on a solid third place when the Safety-Car had to come out at half distance, and soon after the re-start he tried to attack Güven, who had been overtaken by Klein, was obviously struggling a bit. “But I also had trouble to bring the tyres up to temperature and then made a little mistake myself, got two wheels in the gravel, lost the momentum and Latorre was able to pass me. It is a bit annoying, as I would have liked to at least continue my series of podium finishes from Paul Ricard, but at least I got fastest lap, which is good for the points.”
JB Simmenauer started from P5 and was not really to make progress: “From lap 6 onwards I was really struggling with the car, we have to take a close look and see what we can improve for tomorrow. So Eteki was close on the last lap, but he only was able to overtake me in Turn 18 because he left the track at Turn 17 already, and then in the final corner, we touched when I tried to get the place back.” Keeping his car on track, the French youngster crossed the line in P5 and was able to keep the position, as Race control had a close look at the situation and decided on a race incident with no further action necessary.
German Richard Wagner had qualified in P7 and kept this position during the whole race until the last corner incident between Simmenauer and Eteki promoted him to P6. “It was a bit of a lonely race for me, as I soon realized that I could not completely match the speed of the cars in front of me. I then decided to drive my own race, control everything, make no mistake – which worked out well. The last corner was a bit hectic, as I had to avoid the spinning car of Eteki, but I managed to get through without getting involved.”
Nicolas Misslin started from pole position in the Pro-Am category, “which means at least an additional point.” In the race he was overtaken by Sylvain Noel and had to put up with P2 in class: “Of course I definitely would have wanted to win, but Sylvain used two new tyres, which he had still left, so he had a bit of an advantage. Tomorrow will be very important, as I will start only from P3 due to traffic in qualifying and Sylvain again will have two new tyres, while I already have used up my amount. But there are still three races to go to achieve my goal of defending my title and still anything can happen.”
Team principal Walter Lechner was not too happy with the result, “as I think a podium should have been possible for us, but these days happen. Compliments to Richard Wagner, who seems to establish himself behind the Top 6, who mostly have much more experience than him. Now we have to hope for a better race for us tomorrow in the front.”