Racing Engineering


A disappointing day for Racing Engineering at Brands Hatch.

The third race weekend of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series saw the teams travelling to the popular circuit of Brands Hatch in England with the drivers competing on the 1.929 km (1.198 mi) Indy circuit. Following yesterday’s Free Practice sessions when all four of the team’s drivers set competitive times, Ander Vilariño and Romain Iannetta were in the top ten of the Elite 1 runners with Myatt Snyder sixth and Eric Clement, who is still learning about the EuroNASCAR cars, in seventeenth in the Elite 2 class.

The Elite 1 Qualifying took place under blue skies and on such a short circuit with twenty-nine cars competing it was clear that finding some clear track was not going to be easy but Romain was soon setting quick times and he went quicker and quicker over the ten minute session to finish with a lap of 49.723 seconds to finish eighth and move into the five minute Superpole session where a lap of 49.865 saw him finish tenth to start this afternoon’s race from row five of the grid. It was a disappointing Qualifying for Ander and he was unable to get a clear lap and he finished the session with a time of 50.122 which although only 0.732 seconds away from the fastest lap was only good enough for nineteenth.

Myatt and Eric were out in the twenty-minute Elite 2 Qualifying and both men were lapping quickly from the start with Myatt going fifth on 50.546 and Eric tenth on 51.149. The session was stopped after nine minutes with a car in a dangerous position and it had deposited a lot of oil on the track. When the session resumed the lap times continued to fall despite all the “quick-dry” powder that had been used on the spilt oil and Eric set a time of 50.550 to move up to eleventh while Myatt stayed in the pits as his time was good enough for the Superpole session and he wanted to preserve his tyres. Eric finished the session in eighteenth while Myatt prepared for the five-minute Superpole and his first flying lap was 50.447 for eighth which he then improved to 50.127 which left him in ninth at the end of the session.
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The weather continued to be ideal for racing as the cars lined up on the grid for the 38-lap Elite 1 race with Romain starting from ninth and Ander from eighteenth when a car ahead of them could not start. Romain made a fantastic start and as the cars exited Paddock Bend the French driver had gained four places to lie fifth which he held to the end of the lap. With the hot weather all the drivers were having to make sure they did not overuse their tyres and Romain was being careful not to push too hard and by lap ten the Racing Engineering car was involved in a tense battle with Lasserre, Goossens and Ercoli and he began to fall away a little from Rocca in fourth. Five laps later Romain had closed on Hezemans who was now fourth but Goossens was pushing him hard and he was having to drive defensively especially into and out of Druids Hill Bend. As the race progressed the positions remained unchanged until lap twenty-eight when Goossens able to pass Romain and the Spanish car was now being chased by Lasserre. On lap thirty-five Hezemans spun after contact with Goossens promoting Romain back to fifth but a late pass from Lasserre meant he took the chequered flag in sixth.

The race was a disaster for Ander, he pitted at the end of the opening lap and although he returned to the track he retired after two more stops completing just five laps.
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The sun continued to shine although it was now cooler for the afternoon thirty-lap Elite 2 race with Myatt starting ninth and Eric eighteenth. As the race started Myatt had a good getaway moving up to seventh and the young American was soon chasing the car of Ghirelli with Deodhar close behind him. On lap nine two cars made contact and spun promoting Myatt to fifth and three laps later a Safety Car period closed all the cars back up with the Racing Engineering car still sandwiched between Ghirelli and Deodhar. Racing resumed on lap nineteen with just eleven still to go but as the cars entered Druids Hill Bend Myatt made contact with Castro spinning to the back of the field in twenty-first place with Castro receiving a drive-through penalty for his driving. Despite this setback Myatt kept racing setting some very fast laps and he was quickly back up to fifteenth and at the end of the race he was in twelfth place.

Eric also started well, also gaining two places at the start to lie sixteenth at the end of the opening lap and as two cars ahead spun he moved up to fourteenth on lap two and three laps later it was thirteenth. On lap seven he dropped a place to fourteenth and then fifteenth as Bleekemolen got ahead of the French driver, but he regained the place as the Safety Car came out. At the restart Bleekemolen got ahead again but as the race entered its closing laps Eric had to pit and retire from the race.

A very disappointing day today with only Romain having a good race but the Racing Engineering team will now be working hard on their two cars to ensure they are competitive for the two races tomorrow.
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Team Comments:

Alan Queille - Technical Director: "A day to forget for Ander. We had a very difficult qualifying, ending P19 and his race was not good either as he had to stop after one lap due to an issue. He was sent back on track but after some laps done, we decided not to continue. Romain had a very good start, overtaking 5 cars in the opening lap, he was having the same pace as the 2 cars in front of him for the first part of the race but our pace dropped off too much during the last part of the race to fight for better positions, and thanks to a very good defensive drive. As for Myatt, after the FP and the qualifying, we hoped for a better result than P9 in Superpole, unfortunately, we didn't manage to get all the tyre performance. In the race, he was running in P5 when he was hit at a SC restart and had to fight from the back of the field. He managed to catch up some cars to finish in P12. Due to traffic, Eric didn't manage to complete the laps in qualifying which should have allowed him to fight for the Superpole position. He was therefore starting from P18 for today’s race, he managed to gain some positions with a good move through T1 and T2. He was running P13 during the first laps but the pace didn't allow us to stay in the fight for the top ten. With a mechanical issue, we had to retire from the race with 6 laps to go. We will have to work overnight to improve our performance significantly."

Ander Vilariño: “.It has been a very disappointing day. We lacked pace in qualifying and then, in the race, I pitted because I thought that I had a puncture. Back to the track I was running alone and didn't have pace. I hope things go better tomorrow.”

Romain Iannetta: "I had a good start and was taking advantage of the space on the outside of corner 1 and 2. The car was quick during the first part of the race. Then the tyre degradation kicked in and the performance dropped off a bit. I was able to keep my position then gained one from Hezemans but lost it again shortly after to finish the race in 6th position. We will work on the set-up for tomorrow now and I hope for more points in tomorrow’s race.”

Myatt Snider: "I had a good start and got to P5 avoiding other people’s messes, but then someone decided to turn me into a mess, tried to go three-wide and spun me. So, we just spent the rest of the race trying to recover. It’s a shame as we have great Ford Mustangs and someone else goes and ruins it. We will try to run strong again tomorrow."

Eric Clement: "The first part of the race was OK; I was running in 14th with a lot of laps still to go. But all of a sudden, I had a problem with the steering, which made it dangerous to continue. It’s a pity, but I preferred to stop."
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