Superleague Formula Nations Cup: Assen, Netherlands
Race 1: Qualified 14th, finished 7th
Race 2: Reverse grid start position 7th, finished 1st
After a last minute call-up to race in the Japan car, Duncan had the angst of waiting for his car to be finished before being given the green light to race. A three lap shakedown was all Duncan and the team had before qualifying yesterday (Saturday). With no time to work on set-up, the car wasn’t expected to handle well but was only one second off the pace.
By race day today, refinements had been made and Duncan was ready to start race one at the back of the grid. It had been decided to use old tyres to get the set-up right for race two but Duncan found the car to have a reasonable pace and so Duncan decided to charge. He managed to gain two places from the start and another two as racing got underway. With others crashing or making off-track detours, Duncan had managed to progress to seventh by the time he crossed the finishing line.
Starting race two in seventh on new tyres, Duncan again made up places at the start. By the pit-stop window he was up to fourth. Because of pitting last, Duncan didn’t have the advantage of new rubber as early as the others and emerged in fifth. One by one Duncan managed to overtake Pizzonia into the first corner then another out of turn four on the middle straight. After taking Gommendy he was second behind Australia’s John Martin. After two laps following, Duncan out-braked him into a corner and drove away to take a win.
The Superfinal wasn’t quite the fairytale ending that Duncan hoped for after a clutch problem at the start lost Duncan ground and he finished sixth, but this can’t take away that after the opening round of the series Duncan leads on points.
Duncan said: “Today has been fantastic. I knew I had a tough job from the back but I love a challenge! The cars are great to drive and being able to overtake makes for exciting racing for drivers as well as spectators.
“It’s fantastic to be back on the top step – especially in such circumstances. I didn’t even know I had a chance of racing until Thursday. The team has done an absolutely fantastic job and I have to say a huge thank you to Anthony Reid and his crew for the amazing job they have done this weekend. I hope that I can come back and defend the Superleague lead but we’ll have to see what happens.”
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