2018 Formula Challenge Round 2 Race Report

After a less than perfect first round of the season, STAX Racing headed to China determined to bounce back. Here is our race report.

The first round of the championship was bitter-sweet for STAX Racing. On one hand, Adrian Campfield and his teammate Chris Shepherd proved that they had the raw pace to battle for the win. On the other hand, both drivers finished the second race not only outside the points, but additionally received a “Back of the Grid” penalty for the Chinese round. However, this motivated them even more to prove that they were not only fast, but also able to fight their way through the field to score valuable points.

Qualifying: For a long time, it looked as if Adrian could score his first Pole Position in only his second event in GPVWC. However, shortly before the end of the session, Chris had an absolute flyer of a lap with a very strong Sector 1 and 2, outqualifying Adrian by 0.118 seconds and scoring his second Pole Position in as many rounds this season. With a 30.897, Chris was the only driver to stay below 31 seconds in Sector 2. You can watch his Pole Lap below. 

A front row lockout from STAX Racing proved that both drivers were on pace this round. However, due to the penalties from Melbourne, instead of the two STAX Racing cars in their freshly unveiled race livery, the two Red Arrow cars who are considered one of the strongest teams to participate in the 2018 Formula Challenge series would start from P1 and P2.

While there were less crashs than in Australia, it was still an action-packed race weekend.

Race 1: After all penalties were accounted for, Adrian started Race 1 from P28. He immediately started to gain positions and was in P24 after the first lap and overtook at least two cars in every following lap. At the midpoint of the race, he already made up 14 (!) positions. On Lap 9, Adrian was able to overtake James Early into P11 and gained another place when Sandeep Choda spun in front of them. Two laps later, Adrian passed Thomas Andriamiharisoa and started to put pressure on Mateusz Ziubinski. Adrian attacked him on the long back straight, but missed his braking point and went on the AstroTurf on corner exit. Andriamiharisoa took advantage of that, pulling alongside Adrian on the Start-Finish-Straight and passing him going into T1. However, one lap later Adrian was able to regain that position. The STAX Racing driver started the last lap in P8. Ahead of him, Brambilla and Ziubinski were still batteling hard, enabling Adrian to close the gap to them. He passed Brambilla on the back-straight and entered the last corner side-by-side with Ziubinski, passing the Polish driver to finish a sensational 6th. All in all, Adrian was able to gain 22 positions in the race.

Chris had a similarly action packed race. He started from 18th on the grid and gained six positions in the opening two laps. After passing the two Royal Blue cars of Early and Andriamiharisoa on Lap 3 and 4 respectively, he was in the Top 10 already. Chris made further progress after overtaking Clipp and Wannemuller in the following laps. On Lap 8, Woodford crashed into the lagging Zerebiec, “gifting” Chris two more positions. Chris then gained fourth place when Brambilla had a offtrack moment on lap 9 and chased down the Top 3, gaining around one second per lap. He was right behind the leaders when he finished the race P4, which means that he overtook 14 drivers during the race.

Adrian’s last of many battles for positions in Race 1.

Race 2: Adrian started the second race from P10. Again, he made up many positions in the first three laps. On Lap 4, he got hit behind from Chris and sustained minor damage (see below). After passing Ziubinski for P4, Adrian was able to close the gap to the cars infront of him while building a gap to his pursuers. On Lap 12, second placed Angelone spun out, loosing many positions. In the second to last lap, Campfield was able to pass Woodford, who by the looks of it struggled with excessive tyre wear. The gap to eventual race winner Ivan Leonov proved to be too big to close in one lap and Adrian finished race two in second place.

Too close for comfort: The STAX Racing drivers made contact in Race 2

Chris started the race from P12, but was in 8th place, just behind Adrian, after the first lap already. He continued to overtake several drivers in the next laps and then, on Lap 4, he used Tom Davison’s slipstream to pass the Downforce Racing driver on the long back-straight. However, Chris missed his braking spot  for the following hairpin turn and rear-ended his own teammate. As a result, Chris not only stustained minor damage, he also lost his place to Davidson. Fortunately, a few laps later Chris re-gained that position and also was able to overtake Ziubinski. As Angelone spun in the meantime, Chris was now running in P4. Before the end of the race, he also was able to catch and overtake the struggeling Woodford and ultimatevly finished the race on the Podium in P3.

All in all, it was a very succesful round for STAX Racing. While Red Arrow Racing were able to increase their lead in the Championship, both drivers were on pace and showed that they can pull off great overtaking maneuvers even in such a close, competitive grid.

After the second round of the season, STAX Racing is second in the Constructors’ Championship with 92 points, behind Red Arrow Racing (102 points) and in front of McKinley Engineering (54). Adrian Campfield is now third in the Drivers’ Championship while Chris Shepherd is fourth.

The next race of the season will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on March 27th. Below, you can find the broadcast of the Chinese round and the results table.

Broadcast

Results

QualifyingRace 1Race 2
Pos Driver Nat Team Time/Gap S1 S2 S3 Laps
1 Chris Shepherd STAX 01:43.363 27.268 30.897 45.198 9
2 Adrian Campfield STAX + 0.118 27.304 31.029 45.147 9
3 Chris Butcher Red Arrow + 0.342 27.391 31.132 45.181 9
4 David Jundt Red Arrow + 0.359 27.450 31.126 45.145 7
5 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay + 0.384 27.345 31.164 45.237 9
6 Sandeep Chodha CM-Tech + 0.475 27.188 31.180 45.468 9
7 Ivan Leonov Cenobite + 0.502 27.169 31.055 45.641 8
8 Mateusz Dabrowski WSL + 0.632 27.339 31.184 45.472 8
9 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech + 0.636 27.314 31.265 45.420 8
10 Balint Hammer Drillers + 0.665 27.452 31.281 45.294 7
11 Konrad Zerebiec GPVWC Academy + 0.702 27.411 31.277 45.377 3
12 Ross Woodford Shift Gear + 0.953 27.359 31.297 45.659 9
13 Thomas Andriamiharisoa Royal Blue + 0.966 27.420 31.279 45.630 9
14 James Early Royal Blue + 0.985 27.544 31.197 45.606 7
15 Marc Veit Cenobite + 1.024 27.439 31.247 45.701 8
16 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear + 1.091 27.481 31.461 45.512 7
17 Mateusz Ziubinski WSL + 1.245 27.433 31.535 45.639 4
18 Harry Graham Downforce + 1.248 27.459 31.440 45.711 8
19 Tom Davison Downforce + 1.429 27.687 31.466 45.639 7
20 Philipp Konig TR Motorsports + 1.450 27.523 31.485 45.804 9
21 Matthew Clipp MDR + 1.555 27.569 31.499 45.850 3
22 Patrick Wannemuller Drillers + 1.914 27.659 31.792 45.826 9
23 Stefan McCready Apex PFX + 1.945 27.592 31.713 46.002 9
24 Kevin Peters TR Motorsports + 2.141 27.625 31.850 46.028 7
25 Ben Willis Apex PFX + 2.305 27.940 31.618 46.109 8
26 Cameron Rodger Idos + 2.724 27.838 31.654 46.594 8
27 Bret Metcalf TTF + 3.146 28.229 31.949 46.330 6
28 Ed Williams Idos + 3.903 28.420 32.185 46.660 7
Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time/Gap Pits Grid Diff
1 Chris Butcher Red Arrow 14 24:44.493 0 1 +0

2 David Jundt Red Arrow 14 + 0.394 0 2 +0

3 Mateusz Dabrowski WSL 14 + 1.071 0 4 +1

4 Chris Shepherd STAX 14 + 1.958 0 18 +14

5 Matthew Clipp MDR 14 + 9.028 0 11 +6

6 Adrian Campfield STAX 14 + 14.858 0 28 +22

7 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech 14 + 15.024 0 5 -2

8 Mateusz Ziubinski WSL 14 + 15.031 0 22 +14

9 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay 14 + 15.290 0 3 -6

10 Thomas Andriamiharisoa Royal Blue 14 + 15.829 0 8 -2

11 Ivan Leonov Cenobite 14 + 16.827 0 31 +20

12 James Early Royal Blue 14 + 17.185 0 9 -3

13 Patrick Wannemuller Drillers 14 + 20.307 0 12 -1

14 Ross Woodford Shift Gear 14 + 22.183 0 7 -7

15 Tom Davison Downforce 14 + 22.811 0 24 +9

16 Dominic Foster McKinlay 14 + 23.312 0 29 +13

17 Sandeep Chodha CM-Tech 14 + 24.444 0 19 +2

18 Kevin Peters TR Motorsports 14 + 24.891 0 14 -4

19 Philipp Konig TR Motorsports 14 + 25.027 0 10 -9

20 Rauno Muru TTF 14 + 27.597 0 30 +10

21 Cameron Rodger Idos 14 + 29.691 0 25 +4

22 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear 14 + 30.588 0 21 -1

23 Ben Willis Apex PFX 14 + 34.117 0 15 -8

24 Harry Graham Downforce 14 + 35.752 0 23 -1

25 Bret Metcalf TTF 14 + 41.821 0 16 -9

26 Stefan McCready Apex PFX 14 + 44.153 0 13 -13

27 Marc Veit Cenobite 14 + 44.432 1 20 -7

28 Balint Hammer Drillers 14 + 56.713 1 27 -1

29 Ed Williams Idos 14 + 74.942 0 17 -12

30 Wesley Stefano MDR 12 DNF 0 26 -4

31 Konrad Zerebiec GPVWC Academy 7 DNF 0 6 -25

 

Italics indicate Fastest Laps

Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time/Gap Pits Grid Diff
1 Ivan Leonov Cenobite 14 24:40.535 0 5 +4

2 Adrian Campfield STAX 14 + 3.742 0 10 +8

3 Chris Shepherd STAX 14 + 6.560 0 12 +9

4 Ross Woodford Shift Gear 14 + 7.033 0 2 -2

 
5 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay 14 + 7.922 0 7 +2

6 Mateusz Ziubinski WSL 14 + 7.983 0 8 +2

7 Sandeep Chodha CM-Tech 14 + 9.334 0 17 +10

8 Chris Butcher Red Arrow 14 + 11.308 0 15 +7

9 Mateusz Dabrowski WSL 14 + 13.046 0 13 +4

10 James Early Royal Blue 14 + 14.020 0 4 -6

11 Matthew Clipp MDR 14 + 16.509 0 11 +0

12 Thomas Andriamiharisoa Royal Blue 14 + 18.255 0 6 -6

13 Tom Davison Downforce 14 + 18.808 0 1 -12

14 David Jundt Red Arrow 14 + 26.543 0 14 +0

15 Philipp Konig TR Motorsports 14 + 26.995 0 19 +4

16 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear 14 + 27.365 0 22 +6

17 Kevin Peters TR Motorsports 14 + 29.475 0 18 +1

18 Harry Graham Downforce 14 + 32.422 0 24 +6

19 Ben Willis Apex PFX 14 + 38.416 0 23 +4

20 Patrick Wannemuller Drillers 14 + 44.184 0 3 -17

21 Bret Metcalf TTF 14 + 44.686 0 25 +4

22 Cameron Rodger Idos 14 + 62.088 0 21 -1

23 Rauno Muru TTF 14 + 62.142 1 20 -3

24 Dominic Foster McKinlay 14 + 63.463 1 16 -8

25 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech 14 + 65.539 1 9 -16

26 Ed Williams Idos 14 + 79.946 0 29 +3

27 Marc Veit Cenobite 9 DNF 0 27 +0

28 Balint Hammer Drillers 4 DNF 0 28 +0

29 Tristen Potters GPVWC Academy 3 DNF 0 31 +2

30 Stefan McCready Apex PFX 0 DNF 0 26 -4

31 Konrad Zerebiec GPVWC Academy 0 DNF 0 30 -1

Italics indicate Fastest Laps

 

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