Round 4, GP of Austria Race Report – Itchov Takes 2nd Win in a Row

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Hristo Itchov from the Sparta team won his third victory in the season out of four races, which gives him a substantial lead in the championship standings. The race at the renovated Red Bull Ring track saw fewer participant than usual, but it was an exciting race for the lead none the less.

Things were looking good for Itchov after he won the Qualifying with a time of 1:09.638. Second was the Turbo Racing temporary Peter Nikolov, and third was Ivo Mladenov, from BMW Shark.

The race was attended by 10 drivers, and the first to retire was Momchil Totev, who broke his car’s suspension soon after the start. All in all, we saw 6 drivers retire from the race: Totev, Bakalov, Mitrov, Barbukov, Dulichki and Stamov.

Perhaps the only noticeable issues Itchov had were at the beginning, when he lost the lead to Nikolov after the start. Mladenov also tried to attack Itchov, but similar to the previous race in Canada, he couldn’t quite make it through. Nikolov led for 27 laps, holding off Itchov by a very narrow margin, and at times we even saw some close wheel-to-wheel action by both of them, but the positions remained the same. Itchov stopped earlier, having realised he won’t be able to pass Nikolov, and the latter continued for a few more laps. The race was probably decided when Nikolov, closing in on Mitrov to lap him, had a contact with Mitrov’s car due to a misunderstanding between both about which line to take. This damaged Nikolov’s car and lost him a couple of seconds. He managed to reach his mechanics and decided against serious repairs, but all the time lost meant he was now 3rd behind Itchov and Mladenov.

With new Super Softs, Nikolov was flying and was soon all over the back of Mladenov. The overtake didn’t take long and Nikolov was on his way to reducing the 10 seconds gap up to Itchov, who was struggling with his Mediums. By the time Nikolov closed in on Itchov, the drivers were just entering the pit window for their second stops, but for Nikolov to have any real chance, he had to pass Itchov quickly and build a gap, so he could try and protect a lead on the harder compound in the final part of the race. Itchov held Nikolov for about 3 laps, but eventually surrendered the lead, then reacted immediately by stopping into the pits, to not allow Nikolov to build a gap.

Itchov then managed to post some very fast lap times and the gap to Nikolov was reduced to less than the time lost for a pitstop. That and some further issues experienced by Nikolov, gave Itchov a comfortable lead and his second win in a row. Nikolov finished a disappointing second, but he is surely on his way to winning a race soon. Mladenov was third, unable to match the pace of the two in front, and Leonov was the last driver who saw the chequered flag, scoring important points for Sparta.

Two weeks after this race we’re heading to Valencia, for Gran Prix of Europe, where we hope to see an even more interesting race, attended by more drivers.

(на български)

Христо Ичов, от отбора на Sparta, спечели третата си победа за сезона, от четири старта и по този начин дръпна значително в шампионата при пилотите.

Нещата потръгнаха добре за Ичов още в квалификацията, спечелена от него с време 1:09.638. Втори се нареди, каращият под наем за Turbo Racing, Петър Николов, а трети, щеше да потегли Иво Младенов, от отбора на BMW Shark.

В състезанието се включиха 10 пилоти, като първият отпаднал стана Момчил Тотев, разбил окачването на болида си, още в началото. Общо цели шест пилоти отпаднаха, като освен Тотев, това бяха още: Бакалов, Митров, Барбуков, Дулички и Стамов.

Единствените проблеми на Ичов, бяха в началото, когато пловдивчанинът допусна да бъде изпреварен от Петър Николов, поел лидерството. Иво Младенов също опита атаки, но подобно на Канада, те отново бяха неуспешни. Лидерството на Николов продължи до 27-мата обиколка, когато варненецът, най-накрая, последен от лидерите, влезе в бокса. По-дългите стинтове, които бе избрал Петър, обаче не му дадоха предимство и за Христо Ичов бе лесно да излезе начело, избрал да спира в бокса пръв от първите трима.

До края Христо нямаше особени проблеми и грабна втората си поредна победа и трета от четири старта през този сезон. На стълбичката до него се качиха Николов и Младенов, а Леонов бе последния пилот, успял да завърши надпреварата.

Две седмици след това състезание следва Гран При на Европа, на пистата във Валенсия, където се надяваме да станем свидетели на по-интересно състезание, уважено от повече участници.

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