With two new teams on the grid, Kalnins getting sacked by Saldana’s Flying Green Monkeys, TheTeamWithSauce regaining the points lead, and seeing some resurgence from last season’s front runners, the Bahrain round was set to be explosive. How did it all go down? Hit the jump and find out.
Qualifying - A whopping 16 cars took to the grid for the first time this season. Galezcka took the expected pole but Berlusconi and Ryan made sure to keep him on his toes.
|Pos||Driver||Team||Time||Top kph||Average kph|
|Team Punkass Racing||1:32.845||301.95||209.84|
N de Lange
|RSaldanas Green Monkeys||1:33.021||302.89||209.45|
|Pink S2000 Racing||1:33.332||294.51||208.75|
|Prius Power Plus Racing||1:33.884||299.35||207.52|
|Saab Scania AB GP||1:35.166||294.65||204.73|
|Bobololo Racing Team Brazil||1:35.431||292.52||204.16|
|Gotta Go Fast||1:35.841||291.27||203.28|
Race - With all eyes on the front half of the pack, the race got off to a brisk pace. The field was split between mediums and softs. But the track temperatures and abrasive surface meant it was less about compound and more about driving style. Berlusconi and Ryan’s early lead over the rest of the pack eroded rapidly with their tires. They fell back to the bottom end of the top 10, swapping back and forth between 7th, 8th, and 9th in their own fights.
Wanting some vengeance for poor setups and driving in the previous round, Tabarez stuck his nose into 2nd and quickly shifted to defense against newcomer G. Berns for the newly formed GmbH GP team. Right behind Berns was A. Rudani for Pink s2000 Racing. As tire strategies defined the front, the smell of burnt rubber was palpable as the back markers were roasting even the harder compound mediums. Amidst this chaos, K Woloszanski slowly but surely worked his way through the field. Keeping his mediums cool was key. Once again showing the power of the prius, he worked his way up to 2nd after the first round of pits. As one of two teams on a 1-stop strategy, he needed to keep calm and use the temperature to his advantage. His own stop dropped him back down to 6th behind Berlusconi but ahead of Ryan in their little scuffles.
Tabarez dropped to 4th after his first stop, but refitted the softs that got him his positions instead of switching to the safer mediums. Zaymidoroga was closing in on this front group as well. Berns was driving out of his skin for a rookie. Keeping in the top 5 even after the first stop.
Then......the penny dropped......and with it, the first of the suspension failures. High heat and stress caused Meyer’s suspension to fail on lap 11. But this was just the first of many. All said and done, 6 cars left some of their handling bits on the bahrain grounds by the end of the race. Among them was Brundle, a standout in the last race. The 15th place finish will do his own points run no favors. Some of the new teams for the season were also caught out. A freak miscalculation claimed one extra statistic.....Zaymidoroga, pitting from 4th, dove into the pits for his second and final stop. He never made it to the box. Coasting down the lane, his car and race came to a stop about halfway down. Just 10 laps earlier, Galezcka’s own car was down to just 0.2L as he came in for his first......but pole position grants the first pit box. Zaymidoroga’s 7th place grid spot was just too far.
All in all, 16 cars started but just 9 found their way to the finish. N. de Lange, Kalnins’ replacement, brought up the rear across the line. James racing scored 4 points in their first ever race with the 8th place finish. But the standouts by far were Tabarez scoring his first podium in his rookie season in 2nd and Berns getting a podium on his maiden race for GmbH GP. Woloszanski worked the 1-stop to a solid 4th. And so the most electric battle of the season so far came to a close.
|Pos||Driver||Team||Laps||Grid||Pit||Time / Retired||Best lap||Top kph||Pts|
|Team Punkass Racing||28||4||2||+ 0:47.484||1:33.118||296.31||18|
|GmbH GP||28||5||2||+ 0:48.061||1:33.040||299.58||15|
|Prius Power Plus Racing||28||10||1||+ 1:09.538||1:34.402||291.77||12|
|Derpington Racing||28||2||2||+ 1:30.318||1:33.918||310.76||10|
|Pink S2000 Racing||27||8||5||+1 lap||1:33.868||296.48||6|
|James Racing||27||9||1||+1 lap||1:34.970||289.17||4|
N de Lange
|RSaldanas Green Monkeys||27||6||2||+1 lap||1:35.861||298.18||2|
|Gotta Go Fast||23||16||2||Suspension||1:38.280||281.06||1|
|Bobololo Racing Team Brazil||23||15||2||Suspension||1:38.375||283.22||0|
|Saab Scania AB GP||11||13||1||Suspension||1:38.500||298.64||0|