MANSELL FINISHES IN THE POINTS ON F3000 PRO SERIES DEBUT AT IMOLA
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Scott Mansell made his F3000 debut with John Village Automotive at Imola in the second round of the Italian F3000 Pro series on Sunday.
Although unfamiliar with the car and track, he was fifth fastest in the first practice session out of sixteen cars whilst on used tyres, which underlined the great potential of the British teenager.
Qualifying didn't go as well with sudden thunder, lightning and torrential rain ruining the session after just a few laps. With regulations in the F3000 Pro series not allowing for refuelling during qualifying, we had decided to run a heavy fuel load to get as many laps in as possible and learn the car and track before putting a new set of tyres on at the end of the session to put in a quick time.
Unfortunately after just three timed laps at the start of the session and without much warning, the heavens opened and we had torrential rain and lighting which put an end to the session and a tree on the infield that was now on fire! This compromised qualifying and we had to settle for ninth on the grid out of the sixteen starters
Sunday was dry and Mansell lined up for his first ever F3000 start, having only had the chance to practise the start once prior to this moment.
"I released the clutch a little too quickly and the car bogged down losing me a place off the line and putting me down to tenth position"
The first lap was manic and Mansell took back the position he had lost on the start by the time the cars came past the start finish line for lap two.
On lap three Mansell dived under ADM driver Ippoliti, on the brakes into Tosa and ran a little wide on the exit having to defend the position going up the hill into Piratella.
With Siedler at the front and pulling away on a clear track, Mansell settled down into eighth place and started pulling away from Belluardo in ninth.
On lap nine a mistake had Mansell sideways through the second chicane, losing ten seconds and putting him back into clutches of Belluardo, who seizing the opportunity
passed Mansell coming out of Tosa.
Two corners later and Mansell got the better line coming out of Acque Minerali, taking the place back going into Varaiante Alta.
Mansell continued pulling away from Belluardo and five laps later, crossed the finish line in a very creditable sixth place out of sixteen and in the points on his debut F3000 race.
"With having done so little running and the changing weather conditions, I was guessing a little which way to go with the set-up and in the race the balance was not good from the start, giving me too much oversteer, which hurt us in the slow corners. I also found I couldn't brake deep into the corners and couldn't use that much curb, which is important at Imola"
"To be in the points from my first experience of F3000 was a good result but I know I could have done better with more track time to work on set-up but the monsoon conditions in qualifying really compromised our weekend. Team JVA were very professional and great to work with and I hope we can find the budget to be on the grid for the next round at Spa"
The next round of the F3000 Pro series is at Spa in Belgium on June 12th.
For some great wallpapers from the race for your desktop, please visit www.stopandgo.tv