Kraihamer finishes one off the podium and then is fastest on track at Nürburgring
25.08.2009: Austria’s Dominik Kraihamer has had both success and bad luck at round 4 of the Formula Le Mans Cup at the Nürburgring in Germany over the weekend. He fought off the race 2 polesitter to finish 4th behind his Boutsen Energy
Austria’s Dominik Kraihamer has had both success and bad luck at round 4 of the Formula Le Mans Cup at the Nürburgring in Germany over the weekend. He fought off the race 2 polesitter to finish 4th behind his Boutsen Energy Racing team-mates in car 6 and then suffered an electrical problem in the second race, eventually managing to rejoin the field and go on to set the quickest lap.
The 19-year old took over driving duties from his French partner Matthieu Cheruy halfway though the opening one-hour race Saturday in the number 5 car, competing in his debut event at the legendary German circuit. After moving up to P4, Kraihamer was challenged by Swiss lady driver Natacha Gachnang, who was the fastest qualifier in the second session Friday on a circuit she knows very well with previous success. The pair became the focus of the closing stages of the race, with the Boutsen Energy pilot outdriving his rival to take 4th.
In the afternoon race, Kraihamer used his new tyres reserved for the final session as part of the team strategy and made up a place off the third row immediately. Within minutes, he found himself faced with an unexpected dash problem and was forced to limp back to the pits. Although he was some laps down before the team had repaired the electronics, the FLM junior came back into the race and consistently improved with each lap to clock the best time overall.
Naturally it was not the finish he’d hoped for and was somewhat disappointed knowing they had come so close to achieving his first podium in the new championship, no doubt having the speed to have made it a reality. In any case, the young Salzburger was pleased with the performance in general of the LMP2 car and is now looking forward to the next round at Silverstone in September.
“Race 1 was really good and I tried to push to gain as much ground as possible, which showed as the lap times got quicker once I found my rhythm. It’s the first time I’ve been to this circuit and initially it was challenging. I knew how fast Natacha [Gachnang] was right behind me, but I stayed focused to hold onto 4th behind our other Boutsen Energy car. It was a great race between us to the end.
I was feeling confident that Matthieu and I could make the podium in the second race, but it wasn’t able to happen after the issue with the electrics. However, I made the most of the chance to do the laps and was happy to have set the quickest time against drivers who know the Nürburgring. The team did an excellent job this weekend and now we’ll work towards the round in Britain to make up for our losses today.”
Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing team manager Georges Kaczka was impressed with his newest driver’s performance in Germany, claiming that he believed Kraihamer would have been a guaranteed top 3 in qualifying if he hadn’t had a bolt come loose in the steering that cut his timed session short on Friday.
“Dominik did a fantastic job this weekend, especially considering he is not familiar with this circuit and had less than 10 laps for free practice. In the qualifying and the races, he continually got faster in every sector on almost every lap. It was just a shame about the failure in the timed session. The fight with Natacha in race 1 showed he was pushing very hard and to bring the car from P7, it was a great effort. He’s driving well, which you could also see from his professional overtaking and by setting the best lap in race 2. We were hoping that he would have made his first podium today in Formula Le Mans… it was very much possible!”
All race results from round 4 at the Nürburgring can be found at www.formulalemans.com
Formule Le Mans, Nürburgring 20 days after racing at Portimao in the Algarve, the Formula Le Mans Cup resumed at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. Natacha did not have to split her time like in Portugal between the Radical programme and the Formula Le Mans race. The young Swiss driver had nevertheless set the best times in testing for Hope Pole Vision.Natacha weiter >>
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... at the Formula Le Mans Cup
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Bonjour à tous,
ORECA Formula Le Mans
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