Panciatici in top six for Junior Lotus Racing



Junior Lotus Racing and Nelson Panciatici showed strong form in qualifying for the first race of the final round of this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. But unfortunately Nelson Panciatici was denied a strong result when he was forced wide and into the gravel on the opening lap of the race.

Frenchman Panciatici made a good start to the race and was up to seventh at the beginning, but lost a lot of time after being elbowed off the track. He was therefore down to 21st at the end of the opening lap and could only recover to 16th by the end.

Peter Crolla, team manager of the Mofaz Racing-run squad, said: “Today was
looking pretty good after qualifying, especially with Nelson’s grid position. After his problem, he worked his way back up the order but got stuck behind some slower cars and couldn’t make a break to work his way past them. Ultimately it was tough race caused by bad luck on the first lap.

The team is looking forward to tomorrow’s race, which features pit-stops and also, after today’s low-aerodynamic-downforce race, the cars return to conventional downforce. Both cars ran extremely strongly in this trim yesterday, with Panciatici setting times in the top three.”

Effectively, Junior Lotus Racing finished the year with a strong sixth place for Nelson Panciatici in the final round of the Formula 3.5 Series at Barcelona’s
Circuit de Catalunya.

Wet conditions made the going tricky for all the drivers, but Frenchman
Panciatici kept calm to race from eighth on the grid to sixth. I ran in seventh place early in the race, and emerged after the pit-stop cycle in sixth, a position he was able to retain to the finish.

Team manager Peter Crolla said: “We were really quite pleased with this afternoon’s race. It was looking like a tricky day as far as tactics were concerned, but the weather made those decisions easier for us because it was constantly wet in the race. Both drivers made good starts and managed to avoid some incidents early in the race, and they read the conditions well when others were struggling. Nelson had a good qualifying. Conditions were difficult but he got a good time in and we were quite content with his position. Then he ran well in the race.

The season finished with Panciatici claiming equal 11th in the drivers’ championship, and Junior Lotus Racing taking ninth in the teams’ table.“This has been the first season for Mofaz Racing and Junior Lotus Racing,” said Crolla. “It has been a learning-curve year but there have been some good results. Overall we have a strong team, which we should fortify beginning with the upcoming tests in preparation for next year.”

But the activity doesn’t stop: the Junior Lotus racing and Nelson Panciatici will take in two days of Formula Renault 3.5 testing this week at the Circuit de Catalunya, Nelson make this test in KPM team, before three days of running next week at the Alcaniz circuit the 18, 19 et 20 0ctober.

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