|IFR has come away from the weekend with a most satisfying outcome at round 2 of the national Rotax Championship held in Germany over the weekend... |
As the event got underway at Ampfing, several of the team drivers shared the leader-board in morning practice Saturday. Laura Kraihamer was the pacesetter in the first senior session ahead of Niki Laa, who was then just off the fastest time in the next group. Our lady driver was still up there, with the 4th best lap before qualifying. In the Junior Max, Corinna Kamper was 2nd on the time-sheet in the last practice.
It was Laa who threw the challenge out in Senior Max to finish a brilliant 3rd on the podium. He actually ended-up with equal points to series leader Hungary’s Imre Birizdo, but was classified behind him in P3. As a senior rookie, Laa’s driving was impressive throughout, taking 3rd and 2nd in the afternoon races. Austria’s Simon Wagner comfortably won both races to also give Intrepid the winner’s trophy at Ampfing. Laa is now positioned 3rd in the championship behind Birizdo and Josh Hart of New Zealand (Intrepid).
“The Intrepid chassis just kept getting better and better, so I set my best lap just two from the end of the race. I knew I could pass Birizdo because I had the speed and I just waited for the chance, then pushed really hard to pull a gap. It’s a great result today for me in the championship and for our team.”
Suffering from a sore neck after a recent testing incident, Kraihamer struggled as the weekend drew to a close. She easily had the pace but gradually lost the strength needed to remain competitive for the 18-lap races. To take 7th in the field of 19 was still a successful meeting in gaining points for the ’08 series.
Clocking a personal best with each session, Felix Wimmer continued to progress. He was pleased with his pace and overcame a minor set-back on the first corner in the final race to come through for 13th, which was where he also finished in the overall placings. Now sitting 11th from a total of 26 drivers in the ARMC, Wimmer says he’s very happy with his effort. IFR team manager Ernst Penninger confirmed that “Felix really did a good job this weekend, as it important for him as a newcomer to gain the race experience.”
Tobias Weichenberger is still coming to grips with getting the tyres up to speed in qualifying. However, he managed to get it together in the racing to end up 8th on the day. P9 in both races was a fantastic result for the 15-year-old to claim 2nd place in the OSK Federation ‘Junior Classic’ class, where he’s now leading the series. In the Austrian Junior Max championship, he’s now moved-up to 4th overall after two rounds.
Unfortunately, it was not ideal for the youngest IFR driver Corinna Kamper, ending up 11th after she was forced out of race 1 in the opening lap Saturday. Starting on grid 18 in the last race, Kamper showed her determination, making the most of the fresh tyres to come through the 20-kart field and cross the line for 8th. She was less than 2-tenths off Intrepid driver Sandra Simbürger, who was the quickest in both races.
With the next round of the Max Challenge only 3 weeks away, the team is looking forward to getting some valuable test laps completed before the event at the hosting Graz circuit in Austria.
2008 season info & updates will be available at the team’s official website – www.racetogetthere.com