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.”

 

2018 FSR Australian Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 FSR Australian Grand Prix – Race Report

“We may be a new name…but we are fighters”

Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, March 25th

Edge Esports’ debut in Formula SimRacing’s World Championship proved to be a mixed bag. The team notched up its first points and retirement of the season.

After an underwhelming qualifying session, Jim and George would start the race P9 and P19 respectively. Both Greeks were quick out of the traps however. Some extremely opportunistic driving saw Parisis pick up three places by the end of Lap 1. Manousakis went up a place though trouble with cars around him saw a demotion back to 21st.

By the end of Lap 9 all was going smoothly. George managed to slice his way up through the field to 14th and Jim could comfortably follow Martin Gosbee in 6th. Disaster would strike the multiple race winner however. A gearbox failure for the British driver on the main straight saw the Greek caught out completely by surprise. With Gosbee’s car totalled, Jim attempted to make it back to the pits but the damage was too severe. He was forced to retire.

This left George as the sole Edge in the race, the first time the team has faced such a situation this year. As the first pitstop phase started he pulled yet another overtake into Brabham on Gianfranco Giglioli. Another position would be gained through drama at pit exit as Marco Conti and Petar Brljak got tangled up. This free place would be lost just a couple of laps later with Manuel Biancolilla making a successful pass.

George’s aggressive recovery plan was revealed with an ambitious four-stop strategy seeing him utilise three sets of Ultrasoft tyres. By the second set he was in 11th and come his final stint the risk had paid off; Manousakis had made it to the points. A final move of the race came against Eros Masciulli three laps from the end. With Brljak ahead too quick an eventful evening ended with a very satisfying 9th

JIM PARISIS – #12

Started – 9th
Finished – Retired
Fastest Lap – 1:26.282
Pitstops – None

“Our qualifying pace was expected actually. We worked much more on our race setup for today. Unfortunately I was not able to show any of that. When I was going for the overtake on Gosbee, he seemed to just stop and swerve in the middle of the straight.

“There was nothing I could do and the car was completely broken. I had no choice but to retire.

“I’m not too bothered about how other teams did. I don’t really feel the need to comment about their pace in either qualifying or the race. All that matters to me is how I do and how my teammate does. George came 9th after starting 19th and deserves a lot of praise for that. Great drive.”

GEORGE MANOUSAKIS – #93

Started – 19th
Finished – 9th
Fastest Lap – 1:23.427
Pitstops – One: Lap 14 [Super/Ultra], Two: Lap 25 [Ultra/Ultra], Three: Lap 36 [Ultra/Ultra], Four: Lap 47 [Ultra/Ultra]

“My performance was very pleasing. It was very difficult to come back from P22 after my first lap incident. Especially as I had a damaged car and a steering wheel bent to the left for the whole race. If you add onto this a flat spotted tire for the first 15 laps? It was hell.

“My practice paid off though. I was able to pass everyone I had in front of me at the first opportunity. It was incredibly encouraging to have such a good car at the first race.

“I need more work on the qualifying setup but I am sure that with the help of my team I will have better result in Bahrain.”

 

BILL TZORTIS, Edge FSR Race Engineer

“It was a real shame to see Jim out so early, he definitely had the potential for a podium. George’s race pace proved as much; there are some very encouraging signs.

“I fully believe that Edge can fight for points in every race. If all the pieces fall into place there is no doubt that we could challenge for the podium in some events.

“The three of us have known each other and worked together for about ten years. It is very easy for us to translate feedback and advice into a good setup for race day. We may be a new name at FSR but we are fighters. That characteristic will only lead us to great results in the future, perhaps even wins.”

SRM Porsche 911 GT3 Championship: Round 3 – Race Report

SRM Porsche 911 GT3 Championship: Round 3 – Race Report

“We got some luck…and capitalised on our opponents’ mistakes”

ACI Vallelunga Circuit, March 23rd

After a month long break in the calendar, the ‘Edge’ name made its Assetto Corsa debut in style with victory and a podium in Campagnano di Roma.

Equalling our best starting positions as a team in the series, the big question was if we would be able to fight for the win. Early fears were quickly laid to rest as a determined start by the Sloveno-Austrian Kevin Siggy saw him take the lead by Turn 4 on Lap 1. Teammate Gergo Baldi made as assured a getaway but was unable to make any positions up from his starting position of 4th.

The Hungarian would arguably have the most interesting race of the two as he attempted to hunt down the slow-starting Hany Alsabti in the first phase of the race. Able to keep pace with both the Dutchman and Risto Kappet in second, Gergo would end up switching targets as the pitstop window closed. The Estonian lost out to Alsabti through an undercut strategy.

It would be a challenge of concentration and persistence thereafter as a lack of overtaking opportunities and Kappet’s consistent pace never gave Gergo a good chance to make his way onto the podium. The gap between the two never extended past five seconds however and this would prove crucial on the final lap of the race.

Kevin’s event after Lap 1 was quiet but his performance was one of the most dominating in his simracing career. His nearest challenger Alsabti never looked to trouble him on race pace despite securing the fastest lap. Though taking the headlines as Edge Esports’ first race winner since the name change and only the second different race winner of the season, it would be what usually is the most inconsequential of concerns that would gift his teammate a podium as well.

With four tenths until race time was called, Kevin crossed the line to start Lap 39. This final lap proved to be a stretch too far for the fuel tank of Kappet who spluttered towards the finish line with Gergo snatching 3rd in the most dramatic fashion. It’s the #13’s first podium of the year and Edge’s third of the season.

KEVIN SIGGY – #5

Started – 2nd
Finished – 1st
Fastest Lap – 1:33.826
Pitstops – One: Lap 15 [Refuel]

“I was very happy about my win since Hany is a beast in Assetto Corsa. Expected a harder race than what I got in the end. I pretty much got the perfect start which was what I needed to get P1 before T4.

“The championship is still open so fighting for first on track is one of my biggest priorities. This is alongside fixing my setup to be at Hany’s pace on a consistent basis. Our chances look slim but we will make sure we don’t slack or fade away. Gergo and I are a great duo and he is a very fast guy. That sort of competition is what I need to get my confidence up.

“Regarding Risto it’s always fun to race against him. It’s a ‘déjà vu’ moment and I’m happy we are fighting again after two years of not doing so. That’s something I like.

GERGO BALDI – #13

Started – 4th
Finished – 3rd
Fastest Lap – 1:34.268
Pitstops – One: Lap 12 [Refuel]

“Compared to my previous races it was a much more exciting round; even though I still couldn’t find the rhythm with this car. After the first lap battle with Hany I was trying to close down the two drivers in front. After a mistake in the second part of the race though I ended up nowhere. I had roughly five seconds in front of me, seven seconds behind.

“The motivation to push hard was gone but then luck went my way at the end. I passed Risto just a couple of metres before the chequered flag and so it was a 1-3 for Edge. At the moment I don’t feel that I am able to fight for wins. I won’t give up though, for sure. Even if I can’t go for the top step of the podium, I will fight with all my spirit to get the best result for the team.

“Seeing Kevin winning was a motivational boost for me. I don’t just want to do well for myself but also to support him and the rest of the team. Congrats to him! I hope to catch up in Mugello!

DANIEL CZIRANKU, Edge Esports Technical Director

“The guys have been giving their best from the moment we decided to join this championship. I honestly think we did a good job in the previous rounds regardless of the results. We got some luck this race and we capitalised on our opponent’s mistakes.

“It’s always a blessing to work with such highly skilled drivers as Kevin and Gergo. Makes my job easier as we tackle Assetto Corsa for the first time! It’s still very difficult, even if I were to just work on one project over in rFactor 2. These drivers are some of the fastest in esports though. We only need to look at the setup in order to extract maximum pace.

“Here in simracing we can sometimes afford to glaze over certain characteristics of a car if the drivers are adaptable. In this context I find it easier than the real thing.”

2018 GPVWC Chinese Grand Prix – Race Report

2018 GPVWC Chinese Grand Prix – Race Report

“Their pace was brilliant, consistency spot on”

Shanghai International Circuit, March 15th

The second round of the Superleague season proved to be a triumph for the team. Both drivers converted starting positions outside of the top twenty to podiums.

A race dominated by Risto Kappet from start to finish, the goal for our two drivers was to overcome back-of-the-grid penalties accrued from Melbourne to secure points finishes. By surviving the opening laps, both Jarl and Petar had made their way into the top fifteen by Lap 6. 

Fully utilising his better starting position, Petar sliced his way through the field into the top ten by his first pitstop. On the way however he picked up a small amount of front wing damage. Though it wasn’t initially planned, the damage was fixed during the tyre change. This led to a longer stop and meant that he ended up behind Jarl once the phase had concluded. In clean air though he would deliver strong speed on the advantageous Supersofts. With rivals on harder compounds the Croation almost cancelled out the impact of his first stop.

The cameras caught a lot more of Jarl’s progress as he took advantage of his teammate’s slow stop to press on against the top five eventually. The Norwegian caught attention in particular for a ‘hands-on’ move against Borja Millan alongside a couple of daring lunges against other opponents. He fought his way up to second place eventually passing the struggling Rait Kilk in his final stint. 

It would be Petar who had the last laugh on track despite his misfortune. With Jarl opting for Softs to cruise on home comfortably, the man who finished 17th last race strapped on a fresh set of Ultrasofts to try and push on from 5th. Flying past Millan and then Kilk himself, the two Edge cars would briefly enter combat on the penultimate lap of the race.

Jarl chose not to fight too much as Petar took 2nd at the Turn 14 hairpin. The Croation picked up his first podium of the season and, by doing so, his highest result in Superleague. Our Norwegian #30, after having his podium from Melbourne taken away, should have no worries about losing this one. It’s his fourth podium at this level. 

JARL TEIEN – #30

Started – 25th
Finished – 3rd
Fastest Lap – 1:33.577
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 [Super/Super], Two: Lap 26 [Super/Super], Three: Lap 40 [Super/Soft]

Coming into Shanghai we had no idea what to expect but we hoped to be somewhat on pace at least. In qualifying that wasn’t close to the case. We knew we had back-of-the-grid penalties but we pushed hard in quali and ended up way off Risto.

“Starting 25th with Petar 21st, we just aimed at surviving Lap 1 to then pick people off later on. Achieving that we had so much race pace with great tyre wear that we flew through the field. There were some forceful moves but we made it work.

“I made a slight mistake in the final stint going onto the Softs instead of Ultrasofts but I don’t regret it. My teammate earned 2nd.

“I’m super happy with P3 and looking at fighting for the win in Baku, one of my better tracks.”

PETAR BRLJAK – #33

Started – 21st
Finished – 2nd
Fastest Lap – 1:32.738
Pitstops – One: Lap 12 [Super/Super], Two: Lap 27 [Super/Super], Three: Lap 42 [Super/Ultra]

“I’m really happy with today since 2nd and 3rd was the maximum result we could have achieved realistically. We were going into the race not expecting anything special because starting outside of the top twenty was a guarantee.

“My start went pretty well except for some damage to the front wing but I moved up quite a bit regardless. The first stint was going pretty well but a little discussion about the pitstops resulted in us going for a full fix. This cost me a lot of time and positions and it made my journey to the podium a lot harder. It was a fun challenge to work my way up through the field again though.

“As for the battle with Jarl, we didn’t risk much by making too many moves but I got one nice run and went for it. We were slightly surprised by our pace relative to others because our car wasn’t ideal to drive in practice. This double podium will definitely keep us motivated for future races. We just have to keep the engine upgrades coming and the setups comfortable.

ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports & Quasar Manager

“We felt quite cautious between last race and this one regarding our pace in context to the rest of the field. The car is quite hard to get to grips with so it was a frustrating preparation week for us.

“The back-of-the-grid penalties were an additional setback but the guys really delivered. Their pace was brilliant, their consistency spot on. To be honest the driving was also very clean and controlled compared to last race. Petar had some setbacks in the pit and on track but both drivers came through like champs.

“It was pleasing to see both of drivers in such high positions together. They were free to race as long as it was clean. It’s much to early in the season to even start considering any kind of team orders.

“We take home the most points across the field this race and that’s great. We need to keep pushing though. Risto was absolutely dominant and, again, we didn’t get to see what Alex Siebel is capable of without hard luck.”