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For round 12 of the championship we went to the Brickyard to have a 73 lap race around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road layout.
It was good to see the organization removed the cones that have been causing issues when getting stuck under cars in the past years.
Qualifying was close as always. The team had a well prepared car, but failed to really maximize the full potential when setting their times and Mogar reflected on it:
Track was more slippery than on practice sessions, and went sideways during my first try. Aborted the lap and went to another one. The second lap was a quite safe lap, and started on 17th.
Kazuki qualified in 11th with Yuta, Mogar and Paul setting very similar laptimes that put them on 16th, 17th and 18th on the grid.
The race start saw the usual bunching up of cars going into the first corner seeing some 3 wide situations. It was there where Kazuki and Yuta became the victim of some netcode contact. They managed to continue their races, but cars behind also got caught up by the sudden slowdowns and unfortunately it was there where Paul also had to hit the brakes hard but he couldn’t avoid the spinning car of Robin Friskopps and he damaged his front wing.
The car handling wasn’t affected too badly so he continued his race as well.
After the opening laps the guys were close together with Yuta in 11th, directly followed by Kazuki and Mogar with Paul occupying 15th position following fellow Dutchman Dion Vergers.
Getting closer to the pitstop the tires started to wear down and Paul made a mistake as he lost control of his car which cost him 2 positions as Joni Törmälä and Olli Pahkala overtook him as they were on their way back after a mandatory drive-through penalty in the opening laps.
A couple laps later Mogar also had to concede his position as Vergers used the DRS and ERS to make a pass into turn 1.
As the whole field was on a 1 stop strategy everyone stopped around lap 33 and the pit-crew changed the front wings on the cars of both Kazuki and Paul costing them to lose some extra seconds.
Kazuki did a good job catching up with Mogar again and they swapped positions on lap 64 but shortly after Mogar had a coming together with Törmälä which saw the fin be disqualified from the event while Mogar’s pace was gone and he lost some extra positions as well.
At the first lap, there was a contact ahead between Riley Preston and Olli Pahkala. Since all cars were quite packed together, Yuta ended up touching him causing him to spin, and had nowhere to go before a contact. This contact gave me some damage, but the car was still nice to drive.
Was doing a reasonable race, but was struggling quite a bit on used tires. Later on the race while Martin Kronke was lapping me, Joni Tormalla tried to overtake me from outside, but we touched, causing us both to spin.
Then the car got more difficult to drive, and focused on keeping the car on track to finish the race.
Hope to have better luck next time, but had luck anyway surviving the contacts.
All in all not the best race for the team mainly because of a disappointing qualifying results, but all cars made it to the finish and so still scored some valuable points for the championship.
Next race will be in 2 weeks at the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.