2010 F1RWRS German Grand Prix
In late-2009, Frank and John Zimmer were unhappy about the way Formula 1 was being run. Frank had recently been fired by Brawn, and the siblings spent the year setting up the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series, aided by like-minded Formula 1 constructors. The series was to be a direct rival to Formula 1, and was to include nine contructors: Calinetic, Prospec, Club Bangelia, KQ, Kahama, West Cliff, JLD, Rosenforth and CR, all of them with two drivers.
The series was open to any drivers who wanted a shot, but it still attracted top-line international drivers. The first team to apply was West Cliff Racing, and the selected drivers were NASCAR driver Douglas Mann and former Formula 1 driver Sammy Jones. Rosenforth Engineering was next to apply, and they would be represented by series founder and Formula 1 driver Frank Zimmer and fellow Formula 1 driver Thomas De Bock. KQ Motor Sports would be third to pick, and they ended up with relative unknowns Adam Lewis and Hagane Shizuka, who stated a dislike for the team's hybrid engine. Team Calinetic picked F1 driver Phoenix McAllister and Gary Cameron, JLD Motorsport, with the support of Mercedes, chose multiple F1 champion Daniel Melrose and versatile racer Dave Simpson, Prospec chose Nathanael Spencer and David Koczo, Club Bangelia plumped for NASCAR driver James Davies and the team's founder, Dan BH, CR Motorsport picked BTCC driver Ashley Watkinson and pay-driver Darren Older Jr. Kahama Motor Sport, however, was unable to fins a second driver in time for the race, and was left with Formula 3 driver Kay Lon, who stated that he would become 'Big In Japan'. The manufacturers were joined by privateer Luca Pacchiarini, driving a curious car powered by a mix of engines dubbed the Coswojuddhartlambo. This left the series with 18 drivers, four of which would be doing double-duty over the course of the season alongside a full time Formula One campaign; Jones, Simpson, the defending F1 champion Melrose and McAllister, who had just scored a two year contract with Ferrari in Formula One during the off-season.
Hockenheim would hold the first race of the series, which would use several circuits that would seem surprising for such powerful cars, such as Oschersleben, Adelaide or Eastern Creek, while also using some circuits used by Formula One, meaning that most drivers were unfamiliar with at least one track.
Coming up to the first race, the Prospecs looked like the cars to beat, followed by Frank Zimmer's Rosenforth, as his teammate Thomas De Bock was surprisingly off the pace throughout pre-season testing. Time would tell if the order would stay the same for the season, though the restricted regulations (implemented to reduce costs at first) would mean that results would be very inconsistant.
There would be controversy as well, as Pacchia were being investigated by the police due to allegations of fraud by team head and driver Luca Pacchiarini, who had allegedly conned Dunlop into providing tyres to the team. The team intended to hire former F1 driver Andrea Montermini, but he refused and Pacchiarini would drive the car himself. The team was welcomed by Zimmer, but the Australian doubted the team's capability, saying that his 'only concern is if his engine (...) will hold up for an entire race.', while Douglas Mann stated that he hoped that the Pacchia would be easy to pass.
The session was marked by rain, and the first pole position of the series was taken by F1 driver Dave Simpson in the JLD, the fastest car in qualifying period, as Daniel Melrose qualified fourth. This was something of a surprise, as the German team was expected to be around third despite having by far the strongest driver lineup on the grid. An even bigger surprise was the Pacchia, with Pacchiarini somehow dragging the Pacchia to a front row grid spot.
The Prospecs, who were expected to be on the front row, were at both ends of the grid, with Nathanael Spencer in third place while his team mate David Koczo, who had shown impressive pace in pre-season testing, was way down in 16th position.
The biggest disappointment of the session for drivers, however, was Thomas De Bock, who was down in 17th and second last, while his Rosenforth team mate Frank Zimmer was up in sixth. The slowest team, however, was undoubtedly KQ, with Shizuka 15th and Lewis 18th. The Japanese squad's hybrid engines were seemingly having trouble staying on the pace of the conventional petrol engines.
As a whole, the field was very close, as was expecting, with just two seconds separating Simpson and Lewis, ensuring that the race and the championship as a whole would be incredibly close throughout the season.
The start was very eventful, Pacchiarini quickly dropped down the order, leaving Gary Cameron to chase down Simpson. Several drivers spun in the first few laps, including Cameron, who lost a fair bit of time. Unfortunately, Thomas De Bock got the worst of it, being forced to pit for a new front wing.
Cameron then made his way back up to second, although he lost it again after temporary engine woes, while Watkinson was having a very inconsistent race, spinning whenever he was making up significant amounts of time. Nathanael Spencer, meanwhile, was having a superb race, and passed Simpson for the lead on lap 9, just as the first drivers were beginning to pit. On lap 10, Spencer led from Simpson, with a gap back to Cameron and Douglas Mann, who had been having a quiet race.
The race then started to heat up spectacularly, drivers quickly gaining then losing places, with Pacchiarini quickly making his way up to second place, with Mann dropping back. The race then settled down a bit before a spin by Kay Lon marked the return of the early pitters, whose fresh rubber was enabling them to gain massive amounts of time on the leaders. Spencer and Simpson were battling for the lead at the halfway point, but Spencer had to come in for new tyres, as well as Daniel Melrose, Gary Cameron and Phoenix McAllister.
This left Douglas Mann in the lead, as he had yet to pit. In second place, however, Ashley Watkinson's race was turning out brilliantly as he had already pitted for tyres! He duly took the lead on lap 20, leaving Mann behind, with Frank Zimmer third ahead of Simpson and Sammy Jones, who had worked his way back towards the front after an early stop.
Zimmer, Simpson and Mann were now experiencing serious tyre problems, and were losing heaps of time. In the end, they pitted too late and lost at least five places each, while Adam Lewis, who had had an anonymous race, pitted last. Lon eventually had another spin late in the race, and so did Watkinson, on the final lap. However, that didn't stop him from winning the first race in F1RWRS history ahead of David Koczo, who had overcome engine problems and a bad start and Sammy Jones who showed that an early stop can be very rewarding.
|7||2||Douglas Mann||West Cliff-Chevrolet||1:05.88||+0.72|
|8||3||Sammy Jones||West Cliff-Chevrolet||1:06.08||+0.92|
|11||17||James Davies||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||1:06.50||+1.34|
|13||16||Dan BH||Bangelia-Ala Romeo||1:06.57||+1.41|
|14||19||Darren Older Jr||CR-Ford||1:06.71||+1.55|
|17||4||Thomas De Bock||Rosenforth-Jaguar||1:07.08||+1.92|
|3||3||Sammy Jones||West Cliff-Chevrolet||30||+27.45||8||8|
|7||17||James Davies||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||30||+48.71||11||4|
|10||16||Dan BH||Bangelia-Alfa Romeo||30||+59.80||13||1|
|12||19||Darren Older Jr.||CR-Ford||30||+1:04.53||14|
|13||2||Douglas Mann||West Cliff-Chevrolet||30||+1:07.86||7|
|18||4||Thomas De Bock||Rosenforth-Jaguar||30||+1:51.89||17|
- Fastest Lap: Phoenix McAllister: 1:03.48
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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