2018 WTF1 Monaco Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 WTF1 Monaco Grand Prix – Race Report

“We showed that we have the pace to win races”

Circuit de Monaco, April 26th

Edge Esports took their first WTF1 Superleague win of the year as Jarl Teien executed a strategic masterclass to jump and fend off Alex Siebel. Petar Brljak sadly notched up his first retirement of the season. 

Following the confusion of the Spanish Grand Prix rulings it was understood that Petar would be starting near the back. He, arguably, produced one of the best efforts across the field though; qualifying inside the top ten on Soft compound tyres. Jarl was expected to fight for pole but disappointingly could only manage P6. The penalties would play into the Norwegian’s hands however as he would start the race on the second row whilst Petar was relegated to P22.

As is always the case at Monaco, crashes happen. Petar was one of the unlucky ones this year. Caught up with other high profile drivers such as Risto Kappet and Florian Geier, the Croatian attempted to solider on with a buckled car. Unfortunately it just wasn’t going to be his day. The valiant effort came to an end after being collected in the pileup at the Nouvelle Chicane started by Marc Veit.

Where Petar fell, Jarl climbed. The race win was fought over primarily through pit strategy with the #30 staying out longer than anyone else on the Ultrasoft tyres. His first pitstop saw the Norwegian jump Dennis Jordan who had attempted an undercut on Siebel but got caught up in the midfield. On fresher tyres and with the German caught behind Soft tyre runners, Jarl closed quickly.

Where Dennis failed, race engineer Mo Patel (assisted by Petar) won Edge the race. It was our turn to attempt the undercut and it worked to perfection. By the time Siebel came in for his final stop, the net lead had been extended out to just shy of 10 seconds. Though things looked close in the final eight laps, Jarl was able to hold on and secure his first win in Superleague!

In doing so, ‘Teien’ is now the name that tops the Drivers’ Championship standings.

JARL TEIEN – #30

Started – 3rd
Finished – 1st
Fastest Lap – 1:10.106
Pitstops – One: Lap 18 [Ultra/Medium], Two: Lap 42 [Medium/Medium]

It’s great to finally stand on the top step of the podium and what a track to do it at! Every stint was crucial in many ways. The first stint was all about waiting for the gap to 4th place to open up. Dennis pitted before that window opened and he ended up paying the price. I managed to extend the life of my Ultras and jumped him.

“Second stint was all about catching Alex. He was on 5 lap older tyres and stuck behind a Soft-runner which helped me a lot. I realised I had a pace advantage along with better tyre economy so I had loads of options to try to pass. In the end I wanted to do it in the pits rather than on the track.

“I set myself a target of 37 laps on the Mediums and undercut him. It was just enough to avoid the cliff. My tyres dropped dramatically on the last lap so we timed everything to perfection.”

PETAR BRLJAK – #33

Started – 22nd
Finished – Ret
Fastest Lap – 1:11.609
Pitstops – None

“I had a pretty good Qualifying session on the Soft tyres but that didn’t mean much with the back-of-the-grid penalty. It was actually a very good start for me. I thought I was past the bumping and rubbing when suddenly I flew into the air. Back on the ground the car became locked with two others for about half a minute.

“I tried to push on with a broken car but two drivers crashed right in front of me. There was nowhere to go and my race was over on the spot. It feels like I need to buy luck right now. I guess we go again for the next one.

ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports and Quasar Manager

It’s really nice to add another win to our history after Gergo Baldi scored the first one in Wauters Automotive colours last year. Today we showed that we have the pace to win races if we get everything right. In Jarl’s case we absolutely did.

“Our race engineer, Mo Patel, gave us that extra edge by providing the correct feedback to Jarl at the right time. Unfortunately for Petar he didn’t have the luck he so desperately deserves on his side. He was also very competitive.

“The win brings us closer to the top in our hunt for the Constructors’ title. It will certainly be our target to keep pushing towards that top spot.”

 

MO PATEL, Edge Superleague Race Engineer

“Jarl is a very intelligent driver and so he can utilise information during the race. From the start, we knew we needed to avoid the guys on the alternate strategies.  Once Jordan pitted early we knew we had to extend the stint as long as possible. Jarl was able to protect his tyres to extend and I monitored the gap to pit him into clear air.

“Petar was fantastic in helping us. It’s great that even after suffering such poor luck at the start of the race he was available to provide driving and strategy advice. The team spirit and unity is very high!

“I don’t think anyone needs to explain or say how great of a driver Petar is. I’ve learned that the hard way in the past! He’s struggled a bit in Qualifying and hopefully this round will give him confidence for the upcoming races. All he needs is that slight bit of luck and to not get involved in other people’s mistakes. The results will surely come from that.”

2018 FSR French Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 FSR French Grand Prix – Race Report

“Our unit has proven their commitment and dedication”

Circuit Paul Ricard, April 22nd

Edge Esports scored once again in the World Championship as Jim Parisis picked up an 8th place. The feeling in the garage was that it could have been ever better without problems for both drivers. 

Following an extremely tight Qualifying session the opening stages looked promising for George who gained a few positions off the start. Jim suffered though picking up damage in contact with Eros Masciulli and dropping down to 9th. The #93, however, would soon receive a bad omen for later in the race when gear shifts began to go astray. For the first stint it was ruled ‘not terminal’.

As the race continued on the problem got worse with George having to slow the car significantly to reboot hardware. This, sadly, destroyed his chances of points and forced him into a fight just outside of the top ten. Jim’s suspension damage proved costly as well hampering his exits out of corners and therefore his straightline speed. Compounding misery was the effect on tyre wear, his temperatures going well above normal as he struggled on track.

Though both did well to survive the majority of the race, George decided to pull in on Lap 51 after a third complete failure of the gearbox. Ultimately it wasn’t worth risking a crash with three laps to go. Jim did manage to make it home thankfully and in 8th, notching up a second consecutive points score for us!

Edge are now 6th in the Teams’ standings, three points outside the top five.

JIM PARISIS – #12

Started – 7th
Finished – 8th
Fastest Lap – 1:29.772
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 [Super/Super], Two: Lap 25 [Super/Super], Three: Lap 38 [Super/Soft]

“Despite observations that I was lacking on the straights we actually had the highest top speed on the grid. Suspension damage on Lap 1 cost me a lot coming out of corners and really ate through the tyres as well.

“This is why I lost so much time to the guys in front and struggled to keep my position to the guys behind me. There was a lot of action in my race which I’m sure the stewards will take a look at. Let’s see what the final results will be.

“If we work the right way we can improve some more so I will just keep pushing”

GEORGE MANOUSAKIS – #93

Started – 16th
Finished – Retired [Classified 16th]
Fastest Lap – 1:30.324
Pitstops – One: Lap 12 [Super/Super], Two: Lap 24 [Super/Super], Three: Lap 36 [Super/Soft]

“I had massive problems with my gear shifting hardware. It was randomly disconnecting from the PC making me loose the ability to both upshift and downshift. Sometimes it was instant and only lasted a split second. This wasn’t too bad as it only lost me a small fraction of time.

Three times during the Grand Prix there was a complete disconnect though. I had to pull out the USB plug and put it back again in order to restore my gears. Of course this meant slowing down massively to not be a danger on track. I feel we lost a lot of points today.

“I still think we were a bit behind on race pace. We gained plenty of good information for the future thankfully.”

DANIEL CZIRANKU, Edge Esports Technical Director

“We were all previously fans of the league, watching the live streams when we had the chance, so the strength of the field didn’t come as a surprise to us at all. Some of the best simracers in rFactor 2 are here but we never shy away from challenges like this.

“Expecting to win in our very first season would be a little naive but our unit has proven their commitment and dedication throughout these first three rounds. The preparation has been excellent but we’ve just lacked that bit of luck.

“We plan to continue with this drive and hopefully, step by step, we’ll reach our ambitious goals.”

2018 WTF1 Spanish Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 WTF1 Spanish Grand Prix – Race Report

“We keep knocking on the door to victory but never seem to step through it.”

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, April 12th

A radical tyre selection for Edge came up trumps in the freshly rebranded WTF1 Superleague. Petar Brljak notched up his second podium of the season as Jarl Teien survived an engine scare to maintain his points scoring streak. 

As the only team not to select the Ultrasoft tyres for this event, both of our drivers were well aware that we would take a hit in Qualifying. It hit hard as the team locked out Row 6 on the grid. The long game had been planned in advance however and the start was well taken with Jarl maintaining position and Petar moving up into the top ten. 

The #30 had an eventful race but was sadly hampered by a number of factors. Slight suspension damage was picked up in the first few laps and it was fitted with the weakest engine of the event. On top of this, its Norwegian pilot never really got to grips with the setup through practice. As such, Jarl found himself battling with the likes of Pedro Gomes and other midfield runners for the entire race. A particularly long first stint on the Supersofts was a calculated risk but didn’t pay off.

Petar on the other hand rose handsomely to the occasion and through the grid. Crucial moves were executed at the right time such as swooping past Tom Parker on another alternate strategy on Lap 19. The overtake that would earn him 2nd came on Lap 47 where the Croatian pulled a spectacular manoeuvre around the outside of T1 on Dennis Jordan. Extending his gap to the German before his final stint on Supersofts, he then attempted to close down race leader Alex Siebel but just didn’t have the legs.

It’s Petar’s second podium of the season and his second after starting from outside of the top ten. Jarl continued his presence within the top ten by fending off David Fidock and arriving home 9th. He will be looking to challenge for the podium once again when we travel to Monaco next.

JARL TEIEN – #30

Started – 12th
Finished – 9th
Fastest Lap – 1:17.815
Pitstops – One: Lap 17 [Super/Soft], Two: Lap 34 [Soft/Soft], Three: Lap 52 [Soft/Super]

Today was sort of a throwaway race for me. In practice I was comfortably behind Petar; hot lap speed I was close but after Lap 3 I wasn’t able to compete. The tyre call, I think, was the correct. Our readings on the Ultras were that they were only 0.1 seconds quicker in Qualifying and were actually slower in race trim for us.

“Because of my struggles I chose the weakest engine available to aim for some points. My start was okay but I got boxed in and couldn’t make any progress. I suffered left front suspension damage and I struggled in the high speed right-handers for the rest of the race.

“There was a lot of traffic on all my stints and I was never fully in clean air. I probably lost a great deal there but even without traffic my maximum today was maybe 6th or 7th. I’m content with 9th but for the rest of the season my goal will be no lower than a podium.

“Monaco next and hopefully I’ll be able to show my love for that track.”

Sourced from SimNews.tv.

PETAR BRLJAK – #33

Started – 11th
Finished – 2nd
Fastest Lap – 1:17.826
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 [Super/Soft], Two: Lap 32 [Soft/Soft], Three: Lap 52 [Soft/Super]

“After Qualifying I thought it was going to get messy again but the start went very cleanly. I was stuck for the first stint and couldn’t do much in a DRS train. So, I looked after my tyres to try and utilise them better. It worked out well as quite a few cars in front of me got held up. I gained a couple of positions and some time.

“After the first stint I was closing up a bit on everyone in front and knew I could challenge for the podium. It was about picking the right moments when to push and also to pit. All the moves and decisions we took contributed to this very nice result.

“Pace-wise I could have mixed it up with Siebel. Qualifying cost us again which was mostly my fault; even though the car was a bit slower for this round. Setup hasn’t changed much to be honest but maybe taking a slightly different approach with the car can work. We definitely need to be fast in one lap at Monaco.

ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports and Quasar Manager

“Mixed feelings for this round really. We keep knocking on the door to victory but never seem to step through it. Petar had really good pace and consistently put in the fast laps needed. Our tyre choice was a gamble that hurt us in qualifying but gave us the right strategy in the race.

“Jarl didn’t really feel at ease in the car and is looking forward to getting his head down for the next round in Monaco. We are, of course, happy to be competitive but it’s frustrating not to have an answer to ACR’s constant domination. Definitely more work needed to catch up.

“It’s really amazing to see how simracing is growing day by day. The fact that GPVWC partnered up with such an iconic brand as WTF1 shows that progress is continuing to snowball. 2018 just keeps on throwing us nice, new surprises!

2018 FSR Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 FSR Bahrain Grand Prix – Race Report

“I feel that there is a lot of respect towards us”

Bahrain International Circuit, April 8th

A reversal of fortunes for both Edge drivers as the desert of Sakhir bore witness to just how fast Parisis can be and the dangers of the World Championship’s midfield scrap. 

With George at the back of the grid with a penalty from Melbourne, it was solely down to Jim to show what the car was capable of. And did he perform. P3 behind Jernej Simončič and Michele D’Alessandro was hugely impressive. It proved more than ever that Parisis was well and truly back. Early stages of the race looked promising as well. Though Jim suffered a poor getaway falling behind Muhammed Patel, George had ease in slicing his way up through the pack.

Unfortunately, the second half of the Greeks’ first stints became rather more troublesome. Jim went into a fuel saving mode on the engine but this proved to be a misjudgement and he fell back from the lead pack into the battle for sixth. George on the other hand had begun to struggle on his tyres. He had been pushing hard for the opening eight making his way up to 13th. After contact with Sander Kallas who made his way through again, the most lethal overtaker of Melbourne was hit off circuit through Turn 2. Gianfranco Giglioli was a bit too eager after failing to pass on the straight.

This left George with both suspension and aero damage. Misery was compounded by a pitlane stop-go penalty and the choice was made to retire the car. Jim, thankfully, didn’t have as big a recovery job on his hands as his teammate did two weeks ago. He battled away with Michi Hoyer for the majority of the race in what was a tense battle.

The multiple World Championship race winner came through in the end. Hoyer fell back with a long pitstop and eight points were added to the Edge’s total.

UPDATE: A further two points have been added to our total as Jim was promoted to 5th following the disqualification of Manuel Biancolilla.

JIM PARISIS – #12

Started – 3rd
Finished – 6th [Classified 5th]
Fastest Lap – 1:30.258
Pitstops – One: Lap 15 [Super/Soft], Two: Lap 31 [Soft/Super], Three: Lap 43 [Super/Soft]

“Qualifying went quite well as we achieved P3. The car had a good balance there and we want to keep that for the next races. My start of the race was poor. Patel was alongside with a very good start, but after T2 I was able to keep my position.

“Our plan was to save fuel in the first part of the race but it didn’t really work out. Having more effective fuel management and a better strategy would have brought us into a much better position. Fighting for the win I think.

“This is what we have to work on for France.”

GEORGE MANOUSAKIS – #93

Started – 24th
Finished – Retired
Fastest Lap – 1:32.669
Pitstops – One: Lap 12 [Super/Retirement]

“The car was feeling fine and I had a great opening stint. As for the incident, Gianfranco attempted to pass me down the straight and failed. I went for the switch leaving him space for T2 but he hit me off track.

“My wheel kept crabbing to the left through suspension damage but more important was damage to the aero. This made me loose too much speed on the straights. I came in for an early stop, changing strategy to the Medium tyres, but I was so furious.

“I went too fast into the pit lane and rules are rules, I was given a stop-go penalty. After that it was more worth retiring the car than trying to continue.”

BILL TZORTIS, Edge FSR Race Engineer

“That was a tough race, it was all ups and downs again. This time Jimmy was in the points and George retired.  However, we improved our qualifying pace without loosing so much in the race.

“It’s good that we are in the points again. Although we are only two races into our season I feel that there is a lot of respect towards us. There is still some missing potential from the car so the team is really happy that we are near pace.

“Paul Ricard is a new track on the FSR calendar. I think it will be very close for all teams. I hope that we will be on form to take as much as we can from that race.”

2018 GPVWC Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 GPVWC Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Race Report

“Both of them are absolutely fired up now”

Baku City Circuit, March 29th

Another round in the GPVWC Superleague and another race of ‘what if’. Jarl continued his good form taking a second podium in two races whilst Petar saw early drama ruin his evening once again. 

On the face of things this Grand Prix was a two horse race between Risto Kappet and his teammate Alex Siebel. Our Norwegian did keep them honest but how different a race it could have been had two Edge machines battled up top. Jarl’s start was poor allowing his Croatian partner to jump up into 4th. Unfortunately for Petar another driver to pass Jarl, Argo Teder, never seemed at ease so high in the order. A clumsy mistake on the brakes deep into Sector 2 for the first time saw the Estonian barrel into Petar. He was lucky not to completely collect the wall. 

A pitstop so early in a race tight on tyre life, combined a front wing replacement, wrecked any chance of a top ten. Driver and team agreed to try and stretch out the second and third stints in an effort to make up ground. In retrospect it proved to be the wrong call. The #33 fought valiantly back up the field whilst conserving his Supersoft tyres. Making his way into direct combat with the likes of Ben Horrill and Pedro Gomes around 12th and 13th was impressive considering the situation. With just a couple of laps to go however the final set of Supers gave out. A spin on the penultimate lap proved costly. Gomes and the charging David Fidock scurried through and a 14th place was what Petar had to settle for.

After his teammate was taken out of contention, Jarl set about making his way past the cars which had jumped him. Ricardo Costa was dispatched just one lap on from the incident but an impressive Dennis Jordan took much more patience. Eventually, a trademark Teien lunge into Turn 3 saw the German relegated to 4th. A timely, planned pitstop for the #30 just one lap later saw a much needed gap open up between the two. It proved crucial in breaking the threat of a powerful DRS.

It would be a quiet race until the end as his strategy played out. There was a small hope of overthrowing Risto in the final ten laps but ultimately the pace just wasn’t there. The Norwegian picked up his second 3rd of the season repeating his result in China.

JARL TEIEN – #30

Started – 4th
Finished – 3rd
Fastest Lap – 1:39.461
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 [Ultra/Ultra], Two: Lap 28 [Ultra/Super]

“Really tough race overall. Yet another bad launch off the line not helped by someone barrelling into Turn 1. That ruined my pace for rest of the race. The damage was destroying my tyre economy which was less than ideal when you are already limited on tyres.

“Even though I was losing 3-5 tenths per lap there was encouraging signs. Despite some mistakes and traffic I managed to finish only two seconds behind Risto. Hopefully things go our way later down the line. For now we need to focus on getting ahead in development and setups.

“On to Barcelona!

PETAR BRLJAK – #33

Started – 6th
Finished – 14th
Fastest Lap – 1:40.663
Pitstops – One: Lap 1 [Ultra/Super], Two: Lap 24 [Super/Super]

“The start of this season has been challenging to say the least. Multiple things happening that were out of my control for the most part. My race was looking pretty good after the start; looking at Jarl’s pace it would most likely be a race long battle with ACR for the win.

“There’s not much to say about the crash. I was minding my own business and Teder behind braked very late.  He lost the car under braking trying to avoid me and spun into me. If I hadn’t turned out of the corner it might have been a retirement on the spot. Very disappointing to have my race ruined by someone else’s beginner mistake.

“I was down by quite a lot on the straights because of the damage and the car didn’t feel too good to drive. I tried to do an effective one-stop from there but I think it was the wrong call. In the end I was able to go quicker than the leaders in the few laps I pushed on worn out Supersoft tyres.

“In the penultimate lap my tyres totally gave up and I just half spun into the castle section costing me a point. There’s still some work to be done in getting my qualifying right. Similar to Australia I could barely put together a decent sector let alone a lap. Time to forget this one and move on.

DANIEL CZIRANKU, Edge Esports Technical Director

We definitely had much more potential this weekend, our answer is plain and simple this time. We just couldn’t keep our schedule tight enough for the level of the competition that is present in Superleague.

“It was pretty clear for everyone in the team. We have to try extremes, we have to find something. Every other team opted for the same tyres and engine levels but lacking time it slipped out of our hands. Regardless, both of our drivers showed why everyone is expecting them to fight for wins. They did absolutely everything in their power to get the best result they could.

“All I can say is both of them are absolutely fired up now and eager to come back on top. I’m pretty hopeful we don’t just continue the podium streak, but maybe clinch the highest peak on the podium.”