Jase dominates the weekend at the Hungaroring for Toro Rosso taking top billing on a wet Saturday and a thrilling Sunday race.
“The Fan” Race Report / 9th of June, 2013
Hungary saw a race field with drama from a wet qualifying session to driver errors and even self-imposed penalties, an amazingly close field with multiple overtakes and wheel to wheel racing kept the spectators cheering at every turn.
The question remained; could Ploddy maintain his consistency and his lead on the WDC at Hungary, or can SOJ again close the gap; will millen stay in contention for the title? And will Jase continue his winning form after a two week race absences?
Ferrari’s fight for the title will be hurt with Toggies having to miss the race, and McLaren was missing their new recruit who was busy celebrating with the British & Irish Lions at their Sydney (pub) HQ.
Teams and drivers were torn due to the weather with a wet qualifying session predicted but the race would be dry. What were they to sacrifice? Have a dry set up for better race pace and sacrifice their grid position or gear towards a wet set up and try to start up front and try to control the race from there?
In a wet session the times across the field was wide, with Jase taking pole over SOJ, Ploddy taking the clean side of the track in 3rd, followed by E.T, millen, Pessi, Effing, Fredz, zdievo (who for the 2nd race running beat his team mate in qualifying) sora and rogue of Williams bringing in the back of the field.
With a wet qualifying, the drivers were free to pick the tyres they wanted to start the race on, both cars on the front row started on the primes and Ploddy trying to get the first stint advantage on the options, not doubt keeping in mind of SOJ’s poor race starts and jumping SOJ before he could be held up by the Ferrari. However SOJ too would play the tactical game himself pointing his car towards the race line on the starting grid to cover Ploddy as soon as possible, however even with the use of most of his KERS he was not able to do this and moved back to cover his inside line allowing E.T. to pass him around the outside, SOJ would exit turn 1 dropping two spots.
A close battle up the front with Ploddy trying to get pass Jase and pull out a gap with his faster tyres, E.T. too was close behind Ploddy trying to get pass, however E.T. would have a spin and spear toward the wall on the exit of turn 13 hand SOJ 3rd position.
Rogue had a brilliant start, and despite running wide at turn 4 was up to 8 position behind sora by the end of the first lap. By the end of the 1st lap we had two battles going; Jase, Ploddy and SOJ in front and E.T recovering well, fighting with millen, Fredz, sora, rogue, Effing, Pessi and zdievo all in close quarters, where all drivers had to attack and defend.
However by the end of the 2nd lap things would be different again, Fredz spins after turn 1 and is at the back of the field, sora runs wide at turn 9 in his battle with rogue and rejoins in a battle with Effing that Effing would win and Pessi benefits from as sora again runs wide on turn 11.
Meanwhile Ploddy was all over the back of Jase for the whole of the 2nd lap still attempting to pass with the pair of them going through turn 14 side by side, Jase using KERS to pull out ahead of Ploddy before turn 1, Jase takes a slightly wider line that Ploddy tried to exploit, however what can only be descripted as a weird bubble effect the two “touch” pushing Jase wide and Ploddy to slow allowing SOJ to sneak up in BETWEEN both drivers to take 1st.
Image: SOJ slipping in-between the STR and Lotus to take the lead
Lap 3 the race order was now; Jase, Ploddy, SOJ, E.T. millen, rogue, Effing, Pessimist, zdievo, sora and Fredz.
Ploddy was waiting for his moment on the pit straight with DRS to pass Jase, in a great show of sportsmanship Jase jumped on the radio as Ploddy was passing him to say; “go get him”. And with that Ploddy put the chase onto SOJ. Not far behind the two millen seemed to leave his braking a little too late into turn 1 and unfortunately took out E.T. as collateral, an apology and counter offer of a personal helmet is quickly exchanged rejoining behind Effing. rogue was now up to 4th with Effing close behind, E.T., millen followed closely by Pessimist and zdievo.
Still only just starting lap 4 of 35.
At the end of lap 4 the driver title battle came alive. Ploddy was able to close up on SOJ who, on the primes didn’t have the grip that the Lotus driver had. Evident on the exit of turn 13 where SOJ was over the kerbs and Ploddy was able to take a tighter line to try and get around the slower Ferrari and ready for DRS. But what happened next had the Ferrari fans cheering and the Lotus fan booing, as the Ferrari and Lotus come together which put Ploddy into a spin and going backwards. SOJ was quick to apologies.
By the time Ploddy has recovered he had lost the position to Jase, and rogue, and was swamped into turn 1 by E.T, effing, and Pessimist all around him. However he remained calm and was able to maintain 4th position behind rogue. What happened next had everyone witnessing in shock and awe.
Despite not being given a penalty by the stewards for his coming together to Ploddy, SOJ decided that he was to blame for the incident, had slowed allowing Jase to regain the lead, before taking turn 1 and slowing right down coming to a near stop off the racing line before turn 4 allowing rogue, Ploddy, E.T, Effing, millen and Pessimist pass before getting up to speed again.
Asked by rogue “what are you doing SOJ?” and then commented by Ploddy with “don’t do that mate.” SOJ replied with “nah, it’s all good mate, I feel better”. A moment that will no doubt go down in Atomic GP2 history for all to remember what the Atomic GP2 championship is all about, and how it is a championship race among friends and that winning isn’t always what it’s all about.
Image: SOJ slowing for a self-imposed penalty
Lap 6, Jase had regained the lead, and rogue was in 2nd place after having started in 11th, Ploddy in 3rd, followed by E.T., Effing, Pessimist, millen and SOJ in 8th position, followed by zdievo who was starting to drop off the back of the pack, sora and Fredz.
But the drama was not yet quite over; millen struggling for front end grip and with DRS and on the inside going into turn 1 had missed his braking marker, realising that had he tried to take the turn he would never make the turn and was sure to crash into Pessimist and/or Effing, if not both. So he decides to do the gentlemanly act and take to the grass, and go full throttle through turn 1 rather than cause a certain accident. Flying across the front of Effing and Pessimist at a safe distance.
Image: millen seen here on the top right taking evasive action to avoid a certain accident.
SOJ was able to slip up the inside of Pessimist and with millen into the walls was now up to 6th position. Up ahead rogue ran wide into turn 2 giving 2nd place to Ploddy. Ploddy in 2nd place now had an 8.7 second gap to close in on Jase, Jase on the longer running primes and Ploddy on quickly aging set of options.
E.T. close behind rogue was able to out brake the Williams into turn 6. The slightest of errors by Effing allowed SOJ to get up into 5th. rogue with DRS and passed E.T. into turn 1, but the move was not completed till turn 2 as E.T. had crisscrossed the Williams into turn 1 and was just beside rogue on the racing line.
E.T. had SOJ hassling him closely behind all while following rogue closely himself under steered on the exit of turn 9 promoting SOJ up to 4th just behind rogue. rogue got a little tail happy going into turn 13 and SOJ bubbled into the back of the Williams driver running them both wide, allowing both E.T., Effing and Pessimist to get pass the Ferrari. E.T. had DRS and was able to use to get pass rogue effortlessly. A slight lock up by Pessimist allowed SOJ to get pass into turn 1
E.T. took a little too much kerb on turn 7 allowing rogue to get up the inside of him, however rogue decided to give up the turn to E.T. Effing had a slight front right lock up into turn 9 and opens the door for SOJ and quickly hassling rogue looking for an opportunity.
Lap 9 and with rogue getting DRS as well, SOJ was not able to get pass in the DRS zone, going into turn 2 a giant bubble between the front of rogue’s car and the back of E.T.’s car, pushed E.T. out wide, which rogue back off in an attempt to give the position back, unfortunately due to how close together all the cars were, rogue intention to give back 1 spot allowed, SOJ, Effing and Pessimist to get past putting the Williams driver down to 7th from 4th but was able to regain 1 position at turn 4 when Pessimist ran wide.
E.T. recovered well forcing SOJ wide through turn 3 to keep 3rd spot. On lap 10 SOJ on the primes was on a better tyres than E.T. on the options and appeared to be struggling on them as he was sideways a couple of times. SOJ was up on the side of E.T for turn 12 and side by side on the run to turn 13. Through turn 14 on the main straight, both Effing and Pessimist managed to get a better run and pass SOJ, putting SOJ back down in 6th when just moment ago was battling for 3rd.
Image: SOJ and E.T. fight for turn 3 as rogue slows to give a position back
Image: The view from Pessimist seat, 4 cars wide
By the end of lap 10 having lost a bit of time to Jase (9.2 seconds) Ploddy pitted for a set of primes coming out behind the battling group of 4/5 cars going 2 and 3 wide into turn 1. Effing with the advantage of DRS passed E.T. only to go slightly deep allowing E.T. to regain the position which allowed Pessimist and SOJ through. In the pack of cars, only E.T and rogue were on the options, so it would come down to how long they could hold out before pitting.
Image: what Ploddy comes out of the pits and see, 4 cars side by side up ahead
rogue would pit on the end of lap 11 but E.T. would continue on his options, Pessimist close behind with and SOJ even closer behind, and Effing all with DRS, but no-one is able to pass into turn 1. Effing was able to get up the inside of SOJ and pass him into turn 2, and SOJ getting pass Effing again by turn 9. End of lap 12, and only with some under steer on the exit of 14 did SOJ managed to get pass Pessimist. Effing too was able to get pass by turn 3.
All while with Ploddy close behind on a fresh set of options close behind and trying to get pass to try for a run for the leader, it took till the end of lap 13 for E.T. to pit, all while SOJ ran wide again at turn 13 allow Effing and Pessimist past. All the while this made it easier for Ploddy’s charge through the pack passing Pessimist, SOJ and E.T. By the start of lap 15 and with DRS Ploddy was able to get past Effing for 2nd place and chasing down Jase with a 28 second lead, but yet to pit for his options.
Image: turn 13 view of the actions from Ploddy’s car.
The action continued in this manner for the next few laps to come, with everything calming down by the time everyone had pitted for the options in the pack.
It was a great drive by Jase to take the win for Toro Rosso, his 3rd straight win this season for the races the he has attended. And an almighty drive by SOJ, Effing, E.T., Pessimist and rogue in what was an amazing battle for over half the race with too many position changes to count, let alone mention. Only watching the race can and will do this race any justice.
Ploddy did well to recover and take 2nd place, extending his lead to 44 point over millen who continued to struggle with under steer throughout the whole race but was able to set the fastest lap of the race. SOJ with a good result is now only 5 points behind millen and hence 49 points behind Ploddy with 9 races still to go, the world driver’s championship is well and truly alive.
Toro Rosso continues to lead the WCC over Lotus by 18 points and Ferrari on 205 point with a 56 points margin dropped a little further back to Lotus.
SOJ post-race comment on his incident with Ploddy and explaining why he felt he had to give position back.
“I know what I did was wrong. I braked ridiculously early on the racing line and also drop down to 2nd gear for that corner which I had never done previously or did for the rest of the race. It was in an attempt for Ploddy to come underneath me and me get DRS.
This was neither needed or necessary and if anything a bit arrogant on such a tight corner and so early on when I wasn't struggling for pace. If me driving like that in anyway effects someone else’s race then I would rather do what I can to make it right in my mind. Fair is fair. But in regards to handing the place back, I don't feel the slightest bit uneasy or bad about it. I would feel a lot worse if I hadn't.”
|9||3||millen||Toro Rosso||+1 lap||34||01:22.690||5||2|
|11||13||Fredzfrog||Red Bull||+2 laps||33||01:25.261||8||0|