2018 Formula Challenge Round 4 Race Report

Rain dominated the fourth round of the 2018 Formula Challenge series. Here is our race report.

After the third round of the season, STAX Racing was second in the Teams’ Championship with 138 points, behind Red Arrow Racing (147 points) and in front of Royal Blue Racing (74). Adrian Campfield dropped to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship while Chris Shepherd was in second place.

The fourth round of the championship was held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Just as the qualifying started, it began to rain heavily. Adrian Campfield tried to set a lap on the slick tyres as fast as possible, but it was too wet already and he struggled for grip. In hindsight, going out with Intermediate tyres would have been the better choice, seeing as conditions worsened all through the session and the drivers who got a lap in on Inters started from the front of the grid. Chris Shepherd had a “Back of the Grid” penalty from last race.

Foster spinning directly in front of Adrian. Also notice the heavy spray!

Race 1: Adrian started the race from 21st position.  At Turn 1, Browning and Foster ahead of him made contact. As a result, Foster went onto the Kerb and spun in front of Adrian. Both Adrian and Foster ended up in the gravel trap and had to let the whole field pass as a result. Adrian rejoined the race in 30th place, but quickly caught the backend of the field and started to regain positions. On lap eight, he passed Chris and Leonov on the Start-Finish-Straight, gaining P14 in the process. Since a dry line was starting to form, other drivers started to head into the pits for Inters or even Slicks at that time, but immediately regretted that decision. More than once, they spun exiting their pit box. Adrian decided to stay out on track, but started to struggle with high tyre wear. As a result, Chris was able to pass him on Lap 11. Later in the race, he also lost two positions to Galka and Hippel, which meant he finished the first race in P12.

As previously mentioned, Chris had to serve a “Back of the Grid” penalty for the start. He decided to be very cautious at the start, preferring loosing a position or two to being crashed out of the race. This tactic paid off and he started to gain a lot of positions in the first few laps. After three laps, he was in P22. However, it soon became apparent that Chris was running with a wing setting that was too high. At the end of the long start-finish straight, his top speed was up to 10 km/h lower than that of the guys ahead of him, making passing them difficult. In the end, Chris finished the first race in P9, having lost P8 on the last lap to Galka.

Race 2: It rained a bit less during the warmup for Race 2, so we decided to gamble on the tyre choice. Adrian started the race on Intermediate tyres from P12. He was extra cautious on the first lap, but despite this he unfortunately became a victim of a multi-car pile-up in Turn 8. He finished the first lap in P14, albeit with heavy damage. Furthermore, it became clear that it was still too wet for Inters. On Lap 5, Adrian touched the Kerb in T9, resulting in a snap-oversteer moment that sent him towards the tyre wall, ending his race prematurely.

Chris overtaking Galka on the last lap.

Chris started the race from P3 behind Graham and Hippel. After making slight contact with Galka in Turn 2, Chris went wide and lost a couple of positions. On Lap 3, he passed Early and started to close the gap to Hippel. Chris was right under Hippel’s gearbox by Lap 8, however he again had a lower top speed compared to his competitors, making passing extra difficult. After a spectacular battle for position, Chris passed the TR Motorsports driver and started to catch up to Jundt and Galka, who were battling for P2 ahead of him. Shortly after, Jundt passed the Idos Motorsport drive. Chris, too, was very close to Galka, but a lack of top speed made it difficult to pass the Polish driver. With the race coming to an end, Chris had only one more chance to get on the podium: He stayed in Galka’s slipstream on the long start-finish straight and went on the outside for Turn 1, braking early. Galka braked too late and ran wide, loosing momentum, which made it possible for Chris to pass him on the inside and subsequently finishing the race in P3.

It is fair to say that this wasn’t our best round. We made some mistakes, both on the setup and with the tyre choices. Even worse, Red Arrow Racing had a very succesful round, being on the podium four times in two races!

After the fourth round of the season, STAX Racing is still second in the Teams’ Championship with 165 points, behind Red Arrow Racing (228 points) and in front of Royal Blue Racing (111). Adrian Campfield dropped two positions and is now sixth in the Drivers’ Championship while Chris Shepherd is still in second place.

The next round of the season, the prestigious Monaco GP, will be held on April 24th, 2018. As always, you can find the broadcast and the results tables of the last round below.

Broadcast

Results

QualifyingRace 1Race 2
Pos Driver Nat Team Time/Gap S1 S2 S3 Laps
1 Luke Maguire Shift Gear 01:33.151 26.945 33.777 32.429 5
2 Chris Butcher Red Arrow + 0.113 26.700 34.016 32.548 9
3 David Jundt Red Arrow + 1.842 27.512 34.219 33.262 9
4 Wesley Stefano MDR + 2.320 27.321 34.495 33.654 4
5 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay + 2.762 27.616 34.698 33.598 6
6 Marc Veit Cenobite + 2.807 27.843 34.663 33.452 8
7 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech + 3.636 27.679 34.640 34.468 8
8 James Early Royal Blue + 3.659 27.681 34.779 34.350 7
9 Dennis Hippel TR Motorsports + 3.912 27.711 34.801 34.550 6
10 Michal Galka Idos + 3.925 27.424 35.200 34.451 8
11 Chris Shepherd STAX + 3.950 28.177 35.055 33.868 5
12 Manuel Martini Drillers + 4.026 28.328 35.165 33.684 7
13 Stefan McCready Apex PFX + 4.205 28.121 35.018 34.217 4
14 Tomi Ylitalo Royal Blue + 4.358 27.644 35.408 34.456 8
15 Ben Willis Apex PFX + 4.502 27.792 35.568 34.292 6
16 Rauno Muru TTF + 4.799 27.668 35.403 34.879 8
17 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear + 5.388 28.952 35.234 34.353 5
18 Marcos Riffel CM-Tech + 5.747 27.822 34.975 36.100 5
19 Harry Graham Downforce + 6.114 27.947 36.303 35.014 8
20 Eric Stanford WSL + 6.484 28.544 36.025 35.065 8
21 Tristen Potters WSL + 6.980 28.572 36.049 35.510 10
22 Bret Metcalf TTF + 7.017 28.945 36.056 35.166 9
23 Luke Browning GPVWC Academy + 7.432 28.491 36.600 35.491 9
24 Philipp Konig TR Motorsports + 8.162 28.805 36.898 35.610 10
25 Matthew Clipp MDR + 9.234 28.813 37.590 35.982 7
26 Ivan Leonov Cenobite + 11.932 28.541 34.998 41.544 8
27 Tom Davison Downforce + 25.958 28.830 54.878 35.401 8
Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time/Gap Pits Grid Diff Points
1 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay 17 27:09.100 0 4 +3

25
2 Chris Butcher Red Arrow 17 + 7.214 0 1 -1

20
3 David Jundt Red Arrow 17 + 7.965 0 2 -1

16
4 Rauno Muru TTF 17 + 12.377 0 12 +8

13
5 Manuel Martini Drillers 17 + 14.433 0 9 +4

11
6 James Early Royal Blue 17 + 16.382 0 6 +0

10
7 Tomi Ylitalo Royal Blue 17 + 18.384 0 10 +3

9
8 Michal Galka Idos 17 + 32.859 1 8 +0

8
9 Chris Shepherd STAX 17 + 34.084 0 27 +18

7
10 Dennis Hippel TR Motorsports 17 + 41.337 1 7 -3

6
11 Harry Graham Downforce 17 + 44.029 0 15 +4

5
12 Adrian Campfield STAX 17 + 45.876 0 21 +9

4
13 Marc Veit Cenobite 17 + 46.908 0 26 +13

3
14 Balint Hammer Drillers 17 + 51.664 0 30 +16

2
15 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear 17 + 59.282 0 13 -2

1
16 Stefan McCready Apex PFX 17 + 90.524 1 28 +12

0
17 Bret Metcalf TTF 17 + 94.583 0 18 +1

0
18 Eric Stanford WSL 17 + 95.855 1 16 -2

0
19 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech 16 +1 laps 2 5 -14

 
0
20 Ivan Leonov Cenobite 15 DNF 1 23 +3

0
21 Tom Davison Downforce 13 DNF 1 29 +8

0
22 Matthew Clipp MDR 13 DNF 1 20 -2

0
23 Lucas Zimmermann GPVWC Academy 13 DNF 2 22 -1

0
24 Ben Willis Apex PFX 11 DNF 1 11 -13

0
25 Luke Maguire Shift Gear 11 DNF 1 25 +0

0
26 Marcos Riffel CM-Tech 10 DNF 1 14 -12

0
27 Tristen Potters WSL 9 DNF 1 17 -10

0
28 Wesley Stefano MDR 8 DNF 1 3 -25

0
29 Luke Browning GPVWC Academy 5 DNF 1 19 -10

0
30 Dominic Foster McKinlay 0 DNF 0 24 -6

0

Italics indicate Fastest Laps

Pos Driver Nat Team Laps Time/Gap Pits Grid Diff Points
1 Chris Butcher Red Arrow 17 27:51.200 0 10 +9

 
25
2 David Jundt Red Arrow 17 + 15.467 0 9 +7

20
3 Chris Shepherd STAX 17 + 19.061 0 3 +0

16
4 Michal Galka Idos 17 + 22.754 0 4 +0

13
5 Dennis Hippel TR Motorsports 17 + 33.241 0 2 -3

11
6 James Early Royal Blue 17 + 34.166 0 6 +0

10
7 Tomi Ylitalo Royal Blue 17 + 38.698 0 5 -2

9
8 Dominic Foster McKinlay 17 + 43.500 0 28 +20

8
9 Matthew Clipp MDR 17 + 63.267 0 22 +13

7
10 Miguel de los Rios Shift Gear 17 + 64.234 0 15 +5

6
11 Tristen Potters WSL 17 + 65.655 0 26 +15

5
12 Tom Davison Downforce 17 + 75.252 0 21 +9

4
13 Harry Graham Downforce 17 + 77.766 0 1 -12

3
14 Marc Veit Cenobite 17 + 78.418 1 13 -1

2
15 Daniele Brambilla CM-Tech 17 + 82.650 1 19 +4

1
16 Manuel Martini Drillers 17 + 91.139 1 7 -9

0
17 Osvaldo Angelone McKinlay 16 +1 laps 2 11 -6

0
18 Stefan McCready Apex PFX 16 +1 laps 1 16 -2

0
19 Rauno Muru TTF 16 +1 laps 1 8 -11

0
20 Bret Metcalf TTF 16 +1 laps 1 17 -3

0
21 Luke Maguire Shift Gear 15 DNF 1 25 +4

0
22 Lucas Zimmermann GPVWC Academy 9 DNF 1 23 +1

0
23 Luke Browning GPVWC Academy 7 DNF 2 27 +4

0
24 Eric Stanford WSL 5 DNF 2 18 -6

0
25 Ben Willis Apex PFX 5 DNF 1 24 -1

0
26 Adrian Campfield STAX 4 DNF 0 12 -14

0
27 Ivan Leonov Cenobite 4 DNF 2 20 -7

0
28 Balint Hammer Drillers 1 DNF 0 14 -14

0

Italics indicate Fastest Laps

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