After recent setbacks, Chris van der Drift was hoping for a problem free time in the Renault World Series 3.5 at the new circuit of Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal over the weekend
Hopes were high with a front row start in the first race, however the Kiwi was hit from behind early in the race.
Team-mate Dani Clos hit Van der Drift in the first corner, leaving the New Zealander with no choice but to park his car in pit-lane. It later transpired that Clos had a problem with his gearbox attributing to the collision between the two Euskadi Epsilon team drivers.
“I had seen that Dani wasn’t that close to me after the race had started”, said Van der Drift. “I chose to tuck in behind the leader heading into the corner, and suddenly I had a hard hit from behind by my team-mate. I couldn’t believe it. It was just so disappointing; it was quite possible to finish in a podium position even to win the race. Again more trouble for me. And the thing is it must also be so disappointing for the team, we could have both finished with a great result.”
Due to the hot temperatures at the circuit, it was found that the New Zealander’s motor was damaged and needed replacement. “The car seemed to feel ok, but I was lacking top end speed”, explained Van der Drift.
“The car was good in the corners but trying to slipstream down the straight to make a pass was next to impossible”. The Kiwi finally finished the second race in seventh position.
Championship Standings World Series by Renault 3.5 after 13 races:
1 Bertrand Baguette (BEL), International Draco Racing, 110 points
2 James Walker (GBR), P1 Motorsport, 79 points
3 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP), Carlin Motorsport, 74 points
11 Chris van der Drift (NZL), Epsilon Euskadi, 33 points