12 Sep Title Within Grasp of Delétraz After Solid Performance and Maiden Pole at Red Bull Ring
The Fortec Motorsports Formula V.8 3.5 team goes from strength to strength as the 2016 season progresses with Swiss racing ace Louis Delétraz closing in on the Championship title following another sterling performance by the Daventry based squad at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Round six of the nine event European contest commenced on Friday with Renault Sport Academy driver Delétraz setting the third and fourth fastest lap times in the two practice sessions. Fortec teammate Pietro Fittipaldi came 11th and 12th respectively.
On the bright and dry Saturday morning Delétraz secured his maiden pole position in the series with a lap time of 1:15.914, beating the previous track record set in 2013 by Marco Sørensen (1:15.976). After an unfortunate start to race one in the afternoon, Delétraz quickly regained his pace on lap three to challenge Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) to retake P2 and continued to worry the gearbox of leader Matthieu Vauxiviere (SMP Racing) right up until the chequered flag. Fittipaldi, who had started in thirteenth position, crossed the line in P11 at the end of the 31-lap contest.
Another solid qualifying effort by the Fortec team on Sunday ensured that Delétraz and Fittipaldi lined up in second (a mere 0.090s adrift of pole) and ninth places on the grid respectively for the start of the weekend finale. Fittipaldi pitted on lap nine, with Delétraz following on lap ten, for the mandatory tyre changes. Despite a slower set of stops than the team had planned, Delétraz was able to fight his way back through the field to reach P3 on lap 21 and set the fastest lap of the race. His Brazilian team mate completed the 23-laps competition in P11.
Delétraz now heads to the next round in Monza retaining second place in the 2016 Driver’s Championship on 149 points. Pietro Fittipaldi is in thirteenth place on 23 points with Fortec Motorsports currently sitting in fourth position on the Teams’ table with 173 points.
Louis Delétraz, #1 Fortec Motorsports
“Overall it was a pretty good weekend. We made the front row in qualification with my maiden pole, so we were very happy about that. I had a slow start to race one, but then came back to P2 and we were very quick, but I couldn’t get past to take the win. Today the strategy cost us a bit, but we still collected very good points for the championship and are very much in the fight for the title.”
Pietro Fittipaldi, #2 Fortec Motorsports
“I really like this track, but qualifying wasn’t as expected so we had to make it up in the races. We made up a couple of positions today, but still not where we want to be. We’ll keep working hard to see where we can improve for Monza in a couple of weeks.”
Jamie Dye, Team Manager, Fortec Motorsports Formula V8 3.5
“It was a partially frustrating weekend, but we are constantly working harder and will push on for better results as a team in Monza.”
The next stop for Formula V8 3.5 series will be on 1-2 October 2016 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy.