2010 F1RWRS Belgian Grand Prix
Gary Cameron, the championship leader, started the weekend by getting a head start on his championship rivals by qualifying fifth, with Frank Zimmer, Dan BH and David Koczo all qualifying behind him. Meanwhile, Luca Pacchiarini drove the lap of his life to take a magnificent pole position ahead of Sammy Jones, desperate for another podium to come back in the championship hunt. Adam Lewis also surprised the paddock by taking a brilliant third place on the grid in the hybrid-powered KQ. The weekend was also notable for the absence of Daniel Melrose, recovering from dental surgery to remove his wisdom teeth.
The top three all make good starts, Jones and Pacchiarini going side by side through Eau Rouge. Jones would lose a lot of time in this move, and it allowed Lewis to get a run on the Pacchia into Les Combes, taking the lead, for the first time in his career! However, Pacchiarini pulled the exact same move on him the next lap. Kay Lon and James Davies drove into the pits on lap 1, taking the early stop strategy to the extreme. Nathanael Spencer, meanwhile, had found speed and was now in third, with Simon Redman and Cameron fighting for fourth.
Jones and Cameron were the next to pit as Lewis dropped back. Pacchiarini took the opportunity to build up a huge gap back to second, while Dave Simpson was moving up the field and was now in third position. Pacchiarini made his pit stop on lap 5, leaving Adam Lewis permanently in the lead and pulling away. However, he quickly began losing pace and Spencer took the lead on lap 7. Dave Simpson and Dan BH also broke away from the main pack of drivers and were now in clean air.
On lap 8, Spencer and Simpson dove into the pits for their stop, leaving Lewis in the lead followed by BH and Douglas Mann, who had also broken away from the pack, although no one seemed to be driving at a consistent pace. This shows as Lewis and BH begin to drop down the order and pit on lap 10. This leaves Mann and David Koczo to fight over the race lead. Zimmer was now third with Lon and Davies now up to fourth and fifth, their daring strategy now paying off brilliantly. Now they only had to make their tyres last the whole way.
These two then made Douglas Mann angry, pushing him wide at the chicane for second and third place, having passed Frank Zimmer earlier that lap. On lap 12, Mann and Davies, still fighting for position, make heavy contact at La Source, Mann receiving the black and orange, ordering him to pit due to damage. Davies doesn't get the flag, but pits nonetheless, having also received heavy damage to his car. At this point, Luca Pacchiarini was literally charging up the field, taking the lead from Koczo, whose also loses a place to Cameron and many others, dropping to 8th, the top 7 now all having pitted.
Pacchiarini immediately began extending his lead over Cameron, although everyone's early race pace showed that it wouldn't last. Meanwhile, Kay Lon went into the pits, showing that his stop was done too early into the race. It was now only a matter of time before James Davies would have to pit for the second time. Cameron began gaining ground on Pacchiarini at the halfway point of the race, despite being on older tyres.
On lap 16, Phoenix McAllister had a scary accident, his brakes apparently failing on the run to La Source, but the failure was never identified, the brakes being destroyed in the ensuing shunt. However, he still somehow manages to keep three wheels on the car and limps back to the pits, where the the car was understandably retired. At the same time, pit stops finally cycled out, Frank Zimmer going for his pit box.
The race then settles into a boring procession until lap 20, when Sammy Jones also has a big shunt a La Source, also miraculously managing to return to them pits, a testament to the cars' strength. Meanwhile, Cameron was still gaining on Pacchiarini, and gets to within striking distance with five laps to go. Cameron is then unable to overtake until the penultimate lap, where he dives to the inside of the Italian at La Source, only to fail as his Calinetic's engine's inferior power shows on the run down to Eau Rouge.
The final lap would decide the race. Cameron was unable to attempt an overtake at La Source, so concentrated on getting his exit right. He got it perfectly, and he used Pacchiarini's slipstream to pass him at Les Combes, but the Italian retook the lead on the run down to Pouhon. Cameron then stayed glued to the Pacchia's gearbox until the exit of Blanchimont, where he attempted to dive on the inside of Pacchiarini. However, he didn't brake late enough, and Pacchiarini was ahead at the entry of the chicane. Cameron locked his wheels and harpooned Pacchiarini, sending them both into the grass, Dave Simpson zooming by to record his third victory of the season! Pacchiarini recovered to take second, but Nathanael Spencer collided with Cameron, who was trying to recover. Both continued, Spencer taking third and Cameron taking fourth place. The ending was marred by Thomas De Bock copying McAllister and Jones, smashing into the wall at La Source and crossing the line minutes later, two laps down.
Cameron, despite only taking fourth place, kept the championship lead, as BH, Koczo and Zimmer ended the race scrambling for 9th place, BH winning the battle, with Zimmer 10th and Koczo 11th. This allowed Cameron to extend his championship lead to six points over BH, with Zimmer one point behind and Koczo a further point adrift. With his third win, Simpson was now fifth, ten points behind Cameron. Next would be the British Grand Prix, home to seven drivers on the grid as well as a legend who would make his F1RWRS debut, as a 50-year-old Chris Dagnall would return to the cockpit to replace Daniel Melrose, still recovering from dental surgery.
|2||3||Sammy Jones||West Cliff-Chevrolet||1:39.32||+0.18|
|9||16||Dan BH||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||1:40.61||+1.47|
|10||2||Douglas Mann||West Cliff-Chevrolet||1:40.78||+1.64|
|15||17||James Davies||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||1:41.72||+2.58|
|16||4||Thomas De Bock||Rosenforth-Jaguar||1:41.94||+2.80|
|18||19||Darren Older Jr||CR-Ford||1:42.36||+3.22|
|7||17||James Davies||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||30||+1:02.45||15||4|
|8||19||Darren Older, Jr.||CR-Ford||30||+1:11.88||18||3|
|9||16||Dan BH||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||30||+1:25.92||9||2|
|13||18||Ashley Watkinson||CR-Ford||29||+1 lap||13|
|14||2||Douglas Mann||West Cliff-Chevrolet||29||+1 lap||10|
|15||7||Hagane Shizuka||KQ-Hyundai||29||+1 lap||17|
|16||4||Thomas De Bock||Rosenforth-Jaguar||28||+2 laps||16|
|Ret||3||Sammy Jones||West Cliff-Chevrolet||19||Accident||2|
- Pole: Luca Pacchiarini: 1:39.14
- Fastest Lap: Kay Lon: 1:39.14
Standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Drivers' Championship standings
- Constructors' Championship standings
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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2010 British Grand Prix
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2011 Belgian Grand Prix