ACE 2015 - Round 12: Suzuka race review

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Jul 21, 2015
Osilo, SS, Italy
NetRex GP

Most famous Honda test track hosted twelfth round of this FSR season, with no rain expectations. Ragusa setted the fastest Q2 lap, with Klop, Hodas, Antochowsky and Gergis completing top five. Times were very close and spectators hoped in a great show, even becouse of some back of the grid penalty as Prieto, Ivanov, Hoyer and Chatzipantelis; Gobbi started even from the pit lane. Fernandez and Nel were new ACE faces in this 20 car grid.

Race start was relative clean, but Chatzipantelis and Godek made contact; the GhostSpeed ensign retired and the Greek driver dropped out of top ten. Antochowsky lost some places on first sector, but he overtook Masciulli for Sixth after a brave brakes use at Casio triangle. End of first lap showed Ragusa as leader, with Klop extremely close to him and Hodas on virtual podium; Gergis, Heesterbeek, Antochowsky, Masciulli, D'Alessandro, Fernandez and Hoyer were in top ten.
On lap six, meanwhile top three started to distance theirself from Gergis, Chatzipantelis spun and crashed at first corner, retiring. Two laps later Masciulli re-took Sixth from Antochowski on penultimate corner. Soon Ragusa made a little mistake exiting Spoon, allowing Klop to be even closer; the two racers overdrove on first corner, with the Twister Racing ensign drifting on outside and taking leadership, while Hodas jumped on Second. In the meantime Fernandez was hit by Hoyer; both lost their front wings hitting barriers, and even Gobbi spun in the process. Gergis and Heesterbeek stepped up on Ragusa for Third and Fourth, probably taking advantage from tires.

D'Alessandro inaugurated pit stops on lap eleven, rejoining track out of top ten; he was followed by Hodas a lap later, but he didn't manage to undercut the race leader. However, Nel and his old tires allowed the Eventa Simracing driver to have a chance on Klop, and he took it at Casio triangle; then it was Francesconi to old Hodas and to give an opportunity to his contender, but this time the outside pass at first corner wasn't successfull. In the same place, opposite result for Heesterbeek move on D'Alessandro for Third. Most brutal day accident was between Antochowsky and Francesconi; the OFR ensign lost his car on first sector and rejoined track in the wrong moment, causing a double retirement.

After first round of pitstops and half race completed, Hodas led Klop by less than a second; Hesterbeek was third followed by D'Alessandro, Gergis, Ragusa, Masciulli, Prieto, Ivanov and Nel. Gobbi, Horril, Campus and Hoyer completed the pack. Ragusa made another little mistake on Spoon, and Masciulli overtook him for Sixth; then the Life4Racing BBR driver made a bigger one on hairpin, trying to step up on Ivanov. Race leader was the first top racer pit for second and last time, backing on track after Gergis and Masciulli; he overtook both and led again after all racers pitted, while the Italian and the Greek switched their positions. Prieto was the final retirement after a crash on 130R corner. Victory battle was very tough; Klop had tires advantage and bravery but Hodas defended hard. After some contacts, the Twister ensign used all his experience to re-take race leading with a clean overtake. Masciulli gained an advantage on Ragusa for Fifth; great result for D'Alessandro, Fourth. Heesterbeek was the fastest car on track on second part of the race, but he didn't manage to take Second from Hodas: intriguing win by Klop.

20 drivers started this race, 13 finished it
1)Rens Klop (NED)
Thrustmaster Twister Racing
1h08m06.323 (43 laps)

2)Martin Hodás (SVK)

3)Ruud Heesterbeek (NED)
GS Engineering

4)Michele D'Alessandro (ITA)
Thrustmaster Twister Racing

5)Eros Masciulli (ITA)
Eventa by Pescara

6)Giuseppe Ragusa (ITA)
BBR Life4Racing

7)Pashalis Gergis (GRI)
Avid Chronic Racing Blue

8)Victor Ivanov (BUL)

9)Fabrizio Gobbi (ITA)
BBR Life4Racing

10)Michi Hoyer (GER)
Avid Chronic Racing Team

11)Dewald Nel (SAF)
Origin Front Row Racing Red

12)Ben Horrill (WAL)
Avid Chronic Racing Team

13)Alessio Campus (ITA)
TrinesNX Exclusive

Press conference
Martin Hodàs (Eventa Simracing)
-"Welcome Martin and congratulations for your podium. Probably this was the best race of your season. What was the key in your opinion: car setup, driving style or practice time?"
-"Thank you. It was the best race for sure. Finally, I had enough time for practise after quite some time, and the setup was awesome from the very beginning. I didn't waste a lot of time tweaking the setup, and could effectively use my time. At the end that turned out into good ACE result and lovely WC debut."

Race Broadcast
Pole Lap
Race Results
ACE Driver and Team Standings

Next ACE review will be COTA.
Alessio Campus, David O'Reilly and Pashalis Gergis (FSR Media Group)

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