Racing Engineering

05/10/19 NWES ZOLDER

A very disappointing day for Racing Engineering.

The seventh and final race weekend of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series saw the teams assemble at the Belgian circuit of Zolder and, with the Series now at the finals, the teams and drivers were again battling for double points in the weekend’s four races. Earlier rain had left the track damp requiring wet tyres as Ander Vilariño and Romain Iannetta began their 10-minute Elite 1 Qualifying and Romain was able to set some good times to move into the 5-minute Superpole session while Ander finished in nineteenth. The Superpole session saw Romain, now on slicks, set a quick lap that saw him finish in an excellent fifth.

The track was continuing to dry as Elite 2 drivers Myatt Snyder and Hugo De Sadeleer who had made such an impression two weeks ago at Hockenheim began their 20-minute session on slick tyres. Once again Hugo was turning heads as he finished the session in second spot and with Myatt in eighth both men were in the Superpole session. Hugo continued his good work to finish third and Myatt took tenth to leave both men with a chance of a very good finish in the race later in the day.
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The 18-lap five Elite 1 race saw Romain starting fifth and Ander nineteenth and the weather continued to stay dry so all the cars were starting on slicks. As the green flag was shown Romain moved wide and tried to gain position under braking but he made contact with another competitor and suddenly there were cars spinning everywhere with several cars off track, including Ander. with several other cars suffering damage and the Safety Car was immediately deployed as the damaged cars limped back to the pits.

Racing resumed on lap six with Romain in fourth and Ander fourteenth, with much of his front bodywork missing, as the cars took the positions they held on the lap before the Safety Car came out. Romain gained a position at the restart to lie third and Ander moved up to twelfth and on lap eight Romain was trying to pass Goosens for second. On lap nine Romain had to serve a stop-go penalty for the opening lap incident and he resumed the track in nineteenth. Ander was eleventh on lap eleven but he was struggling with damage to the front of his car and he was battling with Jacques Villeneuve who had similar bodywork damage to his car. At the end of the eighteen laps Ander has been able to move up to tenth with Romain back in thirteenth.
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After the disappointment of the Elite 1 race the Racing Engineering team were hoping for better in the 16-lap Elite 2 race with Hugo starting from third and Myatt tenth. Sadly, almost immediately, it all went wrong when Hugo left the track on the opening lap and was left stranded in the gravel trap causing a Safety Car period. The young Swiss driver was able to continue after his car was recovered but he was now two laps down on the field. Myatt finished the opening lap still in tenth but on lap three he moved up to ninth and he held his places as the race restarted after the Safety Car period but he then fell back to tenth once again. Another Safety Car period reduced the number of racing laps for Myatt to improve his position but with just four laps remaining he was out of the race.

A very disappointing day for Racing Engineering but the Spanish team will be determined to fight back for tomorrow’s races.
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Team Comments:

Alan Queille - Technical Director: "It’s a real shame as the results we achieved today with all drivers do not reflect the potential of the cars. We had contact with both cars in both races which affected the final results and also tomorrow’s starting positions. This is not what we were hoping for given the first race day of the final race weekend of the season. We know we should have scored many more points and will give our best to have two competitive cars on track tomorrow.."

Ander Vilariño: "We were starting from the back because we had a very different setup to Romain. At the start, Romain had contact with someone. I was arriving from behind, I braked to avoid any contact, but I was hit very hard and from then on it was a survival race. The steering was a bit bent and the car turned left so I did as much as I could."

Romain Iannetta: "At the start I had contact with Gabillon and spun. I lost a lot of positions, but as the Safety Car was deployed, I was able to take the re-start from 4th position. I passed Longin and the car was really quick during the following laps, we had the car for the win today. I had the feeling that I was quicker than Ferrando and Goosens, but I received a stop-and-go penalty and finished in 13th. This is not a good result, but the car was very quick today on slicks."

Myatt Snider: "Just got raced unprofessionally today. Unfortunately that led to a very large crash that destroyed a lot of the bodywork on the car. I hate that this is something that the Racing Engineering guys will have to lose sleep over. But apparently some people just don’t know how to race smart. We come back tomorrow."

Hugo De Sadeleer: "Real shame! I had a big contact at the start. We had a winning car today and I couldn’t show the potential. I am looking forward to tomorrow despite not starting in a position I would have achieved under normal circumstances."
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