Podium in Curitiba, Brazil
Round 6 in the Auto GP World Championship was located in Curitiba in Brazil. After a long flight we arrived in another part of the world. We arrived some days before to get used to the 5 hour time difference, and the different climate.
The Curitiba race track and Brazil was a new experience for me. I had tested some on a simulator before we travelled to Brazil, but when we arrived they decided to make a new chicane on the track out of tires. My engineer from when I was driving in GP2- series, Yannick Hubert, joined us for this race, which was nice. We also had some new drivers attending this race. I am especially referring to ex. Formula One driver Antonio Pizzonia, where the other newcomer was Rafael Suzuki, both Brazilian drivers.
In qualifying I felt I had the control to take pole position, but I had some allergic reaction that made me feel very bad, almost like I was sick. My eyes were killing me, and became a stressful distraction. Still I managed to push my focus away from the allergic reaction, and focus on the qualification, where I managed to get a P4, only 0,24sec behind Quaife- Hobbs who got the pole position.
I had a good start in the race 1 where I managed to climb to P2 before the first corner. Ex. Formula One driver Pizzonia got into the lead. My tire strategy was to start on soft tires in the rear, and take an early pit stop to change to medium tires. Since I was going to take an early pit stop to change to medium tires, I was driving with a setup for medium tires, where the front tires was mediums all the way. This meant that the car was slightly over steering the first laps with soft tires in the rear. What wasn’t part of the plan was my good start, which meant that we had to change strategy to a pit stop more in the middle of the race. This meant that I had to drive a slightly unsteady car for more laps than planned. All in all, this race was very good. I had an incredibly good start, despite the slightly under steering the first laps, I kept a very good pace from start to finish. The team did a good job in the pit stop and with our strategy. It was a very good race, where I ended up getting P2, a podium in my first race in Curitiba, which I am very happy to have accomplished. Only 1,1 seconds behind ex. Formula One driver Pizzonia who won race 1 in Curitiba (his home race track).
On Race 2 I started in P7. I had too low tire pressure, which made it very difficult to keep up the pace during the first laps of the race. This made it hard to overtake in the start. I eventually got enough heat into the tires and managed to get the fastest lap time in the race. I ended up in P5, and in total took most points this round of all the drivers participating in the Auto GP World Championship.
Round 6 in Brazil was a great weekend and a great experience. I have strengthened my second place in the championship. It was nice to experience Brazil. It was nice to work with my former engineer Yannick Hubert again. The team did a great job. I am happy with my job. I am very much looking forward to drive in Sonoma in California in 23rd