TEAM NEWS: The Hitech Racing Team suffered a frustrating start to rounds nine and ten of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at the Italian circuit of Monza, with current championship leader, Marko Asmer taking fifth and fourth on the grid, while team-mate Walter Grubmüller took 14th and 18th places for the two races respectively.
Estonian Asmer was unable to repeat his pole-position winning speed of previous rounds, moving into the top four with less than ten minutes left to go after putting the new tyres.
Austrian team-mate, Grubmüller, struggled to find an all-important tow around the ultra fast sweeps of the Italian track in the first sector, leaving him frustrated after sitting well inside the top ten in the first part of free practice earlier in the morning.
Both drivers were keen to study the data from the two sessions in a bid to find more speed, before the first race tomorrow morning.
“Both qualifying sessions were hugely disappointing, considering where we expect to be,” said team boss David Hayle. “When we put Marko’s sector times together it put him on the front row. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the sectors together over a single lap. He was unlucky in the second session as he set the fastest first sector overall at one point, but then caught a yellow flag later in the lap, which is just unfortunate.”
“We’re not sure about Walter’s pace as he’s been going well before today. You need to get a tow here and he wasn’t able to get one in either session, but he lost corner speed as well,” he added.
“Obviously when we put the sector times together we are right there, but the other guys are getting the laps one after another,” said Asmer. “When I’m in clear air, without a tow, then I can’t get on terms with them. I had a great tow to set the fastest first sector at one point, but we need to be a bit quicker to challenge for victory tomorrow,” he added.
“It’s very frustrating but we need to work on things and get faster,” said Grubmüller, “In the first session I didn’t get a tow when the tyres were at their best so I missed an opportunity to be a lot higher up the grid. In the second session I’m not sure what was wrong. I need to look at the data to see what the car was doing. I think I can get into the points tomorrow. In the first race it’s certainly possible but in the second I think I’m going to need a bit of luck,” he added.