Hitech Juniors Kasper Andersen claimed the first win for his team today in the fourth round of International Formula Master in Valencia, Spain.
After passing Jenzer Motorsports Nicolas Maulini and fellow Hitech Junior driver Alexander Rossi at the start, Andersen led the race to the chequered flag to claim his first IFM win since Anderstorp in 2007.
Starting fifth, Jenzer Motorsports Pål Varhaug fought hard with Rossi on the first lap before catching Maulini and passing him on lap five. The young Norwegian then had to defend his position against JD Motorsport pair Josef Kral and Sergey Afanasiev, before claiming second place, his highest IFM finish of the season to date.
Afanasiev claimed the final podium finish in third place, having started the race in P11. The Russian driver enjoyed a strong start and climbed to sixth place on the first lap before working his way through the field to finish third.
Fellow JD Motorsport drivers Kral and Vladimir Arabadzhiev followed closely, claiming fourth and fifth-place finishes, with Kral setting the races fastest lap in 1:28.700 on lap 18.
Yesterdays round four winner Fabio Leimer claimed the final point-scoring place, ahead of Maulini and Cram Competitions Harald Schlegelmilch, whilst earlier front-runner Rossi eventually finished in twelfth place following his lap one incident with Varhaug whilst fighting for third.
IFMs 2009 season resumes in two weeks time at the Automotodrom Brno in Czech Republic for rounds five and six. Both races will be broadcasted live on the pan-European channel Eurosport.
Kasper Andersen, Hitech Junior
Its great for the team and me; Ive always done well here in Valencia and leading the race like this really gave me flashbacks from 2007! This means a lot though; I really had no testing at all with the team and went straight into the car in Pau after six months away from racing in the series. We worked hard and now we have a victory as a result.
I had a great start, although the guy in front got away well too but I had a good reaction time. Then Alexander [Rossi] was easy to pass; I just drove past him. We definitely have to keep working though; our car was quite good in the beginning but not as fast as the front-runners. We struggled a lot as the weekend got underway although overnight we did some changes and today we saw the result. But we can improve a lot still, we have to keep working and then were going for it!
Pål Varhaug, Jenzer Motorsport
I had a very good start, made up one position and then passed someone else in the first corner. After that I passed also on the last corner so a very good start really!
I was stuck behind Maulini for some laps and could not pass him but once that was done it was a very good race! I knew I was losing time in the first corner; I was always controlling my line in that corner but the rest of the track was more or less ok. I must thank the team as the car was very good and they did a great job.
Sergey Afanasiev, JD Motorsport
This weekend started well, we were fast in free practice and qualifying but yesterdays race wasnt successful. Today was very different though; I was very calm and took the start easily and then focused on passing people one by one.
I was worried only of Harald [Schlegelmilch] because he usually has good starts but not this time.
After that, it was a normal race, just passing people until I arrived behind Josef [Kral]. He was attacking a lot so I decided to wait and see what happened over the race. He did a great job keeping on the road but in the end I was able to pass him.
Formation lap: Kouskin spins at Turn 14 into the gravel – OUT
Lap 1: Andersen takes the lead / contact between Varhaug and Rossi, Rossi spins
Lap 2: Schlegelmilch and Provenzano head to head into Turn 1 / Black/White flag for Provenzano / Schlegelmilch passes Provenzano for ninth place / Trummer pits OUT
Lap 4: Kral passes Arabadzhiev for fourth place
Lap 5: Varhaug and Kral pass Maulini for second and third positions / Afanasiev overtakes Arabadzhiev for fifth / Schlegelmilch passes Snoeks for eighth / Bamber overtakes Retera for eleventh place
Lap 7: Afanasiev and Arabadzhiv pass Maulini for fourth and fifth positions
Lap 8: Kral pressuring Varhaug for second place
Lap 9: Leimer pressuring Maulini for sixth place / Provenzano passes Snoeks for ninth position
Lap 10: Bamber overtakes Snoeks for tenth place
Lap 15: Retera passes Snoeks for eleventh position
Lap 16: Kral attempts to overtake Varhaug for second but spins into the gravel – rejoins in fourth place / Rossi passes Reiterer for thirteenth position
Lap 17: Leimer passes Maulini for sixth place
Lap 18: Varhaug under pressure from Afanasiev for second position
Lap 19: Final lap / Andersen wins round four
Chequered flag: 10:42