After finishing the season with their first ever 1-2 victory, STAX Racing reminisce on their debut season in Formula Challenge.
The 2017 Formula Challenge season was STAX Racing’s first outing in the prestigious GPVWC Career Ladder. As a newcomer, it is always hard to predict how well one does in the upcoming season, especially considering the high level of competitiveness in the 2017 Formula Challenge grid. After a long season, here is the verdict of both drivers and the team manager.
Menno Klont (#36): Looking back on the 2017 season, I’m very happy how the season evolved. After the pre-season test we knew we that had a great team and to finish second in the Constructors‘ Standings is something that I’m really proud of. Personally, it also was a season with some low points, especially when rFactor2 crashed in Spa and Singapore. However, I was always able to come back from that. Four highlights stand out for me: My win in Hungary, P2 in Monaco where I usually excel in, the rain-soaked round in the United States which I really enjoyed and finally my win in Abu Dhabi. My mindset going in the last round was amazing, I was still hungry and when I woke up raceday of Abu Dhabi I actually believed in the win.
Chris Shepherd (#37): I really enjoyed driving the STAX Racing machine in the 2017 Formula Challenge Season. We had some ups and some downs, but I am very happy with finishing 5th place in the standings despite not participating in some races and not scoring points in 18 different races. I have a couple of highlights from the season: The first one was obviously scoring STAX Racing’s first ever win as a team around the glorious Monaco circuit, having driven from the back of the grid in Race 1 to secure reverse pole for Race 2 by overtaking two cars in the final corner of the final lap. The second highlight was winning the team’s home GP around Montreal, whilst driving the one off special Canadian livery. I would like to thank the team for hiring me in the first place and I look forward to next season, where I will once again drive for STAX Racing in Formula Challenge in a bid to secure the teams first ever championship. Only once that goal is secured will I then move up to SuperCup.
Christian Zoerner (Team owner / manager): I am very happy and satisfied with our début season in Formula Challenge. With Menno and Chris, we had two very fast and commited drivers that always gave their best and ultimately that’s all I can ask for. Having followed Formula Challenge for a few years, I knew it would be an exciting challenge to fight for wins in the first season. To then realise that we would not only be able to score points regularly, but also win multiple races was an achievement worthy of the hard work the team has put in. I also want to thank Liam de Waal and Mateusz Ziubinski for substituting for Chris when he was unavailable, both scoring valuable points when we asked to help us out. For a long time I was unsure if we should apply for a spot in the 2018 SuperCup, but in the end I felt that we still have unfinished business left in Formula Challenge and look forward to next season. Again, congratulations to Scuderia Basilea and Maciej Mlynek for winning the championship in dominating fashion. 2018 can’t come soon enough!