Sophia Floersch finishes 7th in Imola race 1 after difficult qualifying
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
After a disappointing Friday in Imola, Sophia Floersch fought her way back to P7 in the first race of the weekend.
Under the Italian heat, Sophia Floersch lined up on the grid in 11th place after an unfortunate friday in Imola. The German girl had in fact suffered from sets of disbalanced tyres which prevented her from setting a competitive lap time in the qualifying sessions. It was also an unlucky day for Sharon Scolari, who had to miss an entire free practice session due to an alternator failure. The Swiss driver thus spent her qualifying to get some more milage and get acquainted with the Imola circuit.
When the lights went out, Floersch had a slow getaway and dropped to P12, while pole sitter Igor Fraga kept the lead from Caldwell and Fittipaldi. Vesti, starting from the outside of the first row, dropped back to fourth and spent the majority of the race as last of the Prema drivers.
Floersch managed to pass Lappalainen and completed the first lap again in her starting position, while two laps later she overtook Beckhäuser and immediately went on pursuit of Siebert.
Caldwell, the better placed of the Prema trio, closed the small gap on Fraga but was never within attack range. With 20 minutes left on the clock, Raul Guzman missed the "Variante Alta" chicane, but retained his 5th place.
Soon after, it was David Schumacher to make a mistake, going off into the gravel of the second Rivazza corner and losing 3 places in the process. Floersch, who was then fighting Siebert, moved up one position.
When the 18-year old girl had already passed Siebert, the Argentinian spun at Piratella corner and came to a stop in the run-off area. The Safety Car was deployed to recover the stranded US Racing car.
At the restart, Floersch went on full-attack mode and soon passed Blomqvist for 7th and started to chase Nannini. Behind them, Schumacher looked very aggressive on Blomqvist, thus allowing Floersch to open a small gap.
Nothing changed for the leading positions, until Caldwell made himself bigger again in Fraga's rearview mirrors with 2 minutes left on the clock.
The battle allowed all the Prema drivers to join the action for the podium positions: ironically, it was Fraga to benefit from the fight, as Vesti made a move stick on Fittipaldi down the hill at Rivazza, taking 3rd place away from his teammate.
Sophia Floersch completed the race in 7th, as Nannini was able to open a small gap in the closing minutes. The young German might not have finished in the positions she wanted, but it was a positive race nonetheless for the Van Amersfoort driver, who once again executed the overtaking moves brilliantly and moved up the field.
Sharon Scolari battled again with issues on her Tatuus F3 car but completed an error-free race one in 13th. "I'm pretty happy with race 1, even though the car still had some electronical issues to be sorted towards the end of the race." - commented Sharon.
"Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with my pace in the second part of the race, as I was able to improve of a couple of seconds. It was a bit like free practice for me, as we didn't run with new tyres yesterday. In fact, they got overheated and the car was quite unstable at one point. Hopefully, everything will be fixed for the second race."
Ph credits: Racers-BehindTheHelmet.com