With just two more rounds in the 2017 Formula Challenge, it is time to look back on the races held in the United States and Mexico.
"2017 Formula Challenge Rounds 15 & 16 Race Reports" table of contents
Heading into October, STAX Racing was second in the Constructors’ Championship behind Scuderia Basilea and ahead of
Circuit of the Americas (October 3rd, 2017)
Race 1: Menno started the first race from 14th position. He had a brilliant start and had an incredible first sector, gaining 9 places in the first few corners alone! On lap 7 it started to rain, which caused Pedro Gomes to spin in T1. Menno gained another spot when Terence Grech went off-track in Sector 1. As the rainfall increased, Menno came into the pits to change to Wet Tyres on lap 9. He rejoined and finished the race in 4th place. Chris started the race from 18th position. After the long back-straight, he was in 12th position already. Unfortunately, he made contact with Matthew Clipp, which sent Chris into a spin, loosing his frontwing in the process. The Englishman pitted for a new nose and rejoined the race in 23rd position. As it begun to rain, Chris stayed out and gained a lot of positions. By lap 10, he was back in P12. However, as he found it more and more difficult to control his car in the increasing rain, he lost place after place and finished the race in P19.
Race 2: The second race was started in heavy rain. Menno lined up 9th on the grid and was able to gain two positions in the first lap. During the whole race, he was able to keep the car on track despite the difficult conditions, while other drivers had to come to the pits for repairs or new tyres. Menno finished the race in P3. Chris started the race from P18. Unfortunately, he crashed into Gomes who got spun around at the first turn. Chris suffered some minor front wing damage but decided not to pit. In the following laps, Chris was able to gain a lot of places. However, his pace dropped due to tyre wear at the end of the race and he lost a lot of positions without being able to fight back. When he finally dropped out of the points scoring positions, he decided to retire from the race.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (October 17th, 2017)
Just hours before the race, Studio 397 released a new version of their rFactor 2 sim. Unfortunately, this meant that Chris would not be able to attend the Mexican round of the championship, as he wasn’t able to update his sim in time.
Race 1: Menno started the race from 8th position, however, after a frantic first lap, he was in P5 already. While fighting for position with Konrad Bar, Johan Lindberg was able to overtake both drivers. On Lap 6, both Mlynek and Marquard were able to pass the Dutchman. Menno re-gained two positions six laps later when Marquard and Grech collided. In the end, he finished in sixth place.
Race 2: Starting from 7th position, Menno was eager to score more valuable points for the championship. On lap 5, Clipp missed his braking point and crashed into Marquard, which meant that Menno was now running in P5. On lap 10, Mlynek passed Menno on the long start-finish streight. On lap 12, Menno made an error in the last corner and lost a position to Lindberg. In the end, the STAX Racing driver finished the race in P8.
After the race, Chris Shepherd asked to be released from his contract since he got an offer from Cosmo Seiki Japan to compete in the remaining Supercup races. We want to thank Chris for his stellar performances for us this season and wish him the best of luck in the Supercup. With Mateusz Ziubinski, we have already signed a replacement for Chris. The Polish driver just joined the GPVWC, driving his first two races in the GPVWC Academy car in Mexico. His two finishes in 7th and 4th position convinced us that he would be able to help us secure second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
With just two more rounds in this year’s Formula Challenge season, STAX Racing is still second in the Constructors’ Championship behind Scuderia Basilea and ahead of
On the next page, you can find the broadcasts of both the American and Mexican rounds. On the third page, you can find the qualifying and race results.