Have you ever played those games, as a kid or an adult, where you have to guess what your mates are trying to transmit? Alex Șiclovan took some time to decrypt, but ultimately got the message in time.
The longest season of the Romanian Endurance Series reached its half way mark in July, with the fourth reunion. Just three weeks after Transilvania Motor Ring, the pack gathered on Motorpark Romania - usually a familiar location, but a brand new challenge this time around due to the decision of the organizers. For the first time, in this sixth season of endurance racing in our country, the counterclockwise direction was used.
"I watched races on Motorpark in both directions in all the other championships, which for years offered this variation. Finally, we also had the opportunity to enjoy the counterclockwise direction, which many of the competitors appreciated more. Having only two local circuits at the moment, we would like to exploit all possible variations on Motorpark, including the short circuit used in 2015 ", said Alexandru Șiclovan after the West Competition Racing # 268 crew made the triple - victories on all three circuit variants proposed in the calendar.
The difference between the maximum points in the RES Touring division and a zero that would have seen WCR lose the leadership in the general classification was extremely small, the whole team going through great emotions over the weekend. After a single lap completed in the first training session on Saturday, a technical problem kept the car in the garage for three hours and significantly reduced the accommodation time for the drivers.
Neither of them had any prior opportunity to compete on the counterclockwise direction of Motorpark Romania, which is why a conservative strategy was adopted at the time of qualifying. The presence of the experienced Sergiu Nicolae on a similar car made us aim for second position of the grid. With used tires from the previous stage in Târgu Mureș, Alexandru Șiclovan stopped the clock at 2:02.527. He was amazed by the fact that it was enough for pole position, the eighth of the West Competition Racing team in the A2 category and the fourth in as many possible this season in the RES Touring division.
Complicating our own race
The threat of rain at the start of Sunday's race is an additional element that affects the drivers' morale. A good first start by Dinu Dumitrașcu was invalidated by the officials. Then, at the restart, Eduard Anton made a lunge on the inside of the first corner. Andrei Drumea also took advantage of Anton's move to send the West Competition Racing BMW momentarily down to third position. Dumitrașcu did not rush and regained the lost places: first he bravely went three-wide on the start-finish straight and thus passed Drumea, then he animated the race through a series of passes with Eduard Anton, the two men feeling confident in various sections of the track.
Dumitrașcu broke away from lap 6, and his lead at the top of the race increased once he dipped into the 2:03s (tenth lap) and 2:02s (15th lap). By the 50th minute of the race, when the pit window opened, the BMW had built a gap of 70 seconds. However, it was wasted by a communication error, which made Dumitrașcu enter the stands line ahead of the target time. The incident only motivated him to regain his first position, setting the fastest lap of the race on the 30th passage (2: 00.625). Immediately after that, Anton and Dumitrașcu entered the pits: West Competition for the driver change and the rivals for fresh tires.
Arriving at the circuit just a few minutes before hopping into the race seat, Alexandru Șiclovan returned to the track with a minimal lead over P2 (three seconds), but committed a speeding infringement in the pits. The effect was double, since this made him violate the minimum time required for stopping (3: 59.5, half a second below the mandatory 4 minutes).
Team manager Ion Alexandru calculated the impact of this error and anticipated the penalty that would be imposed, trying to communicate to the pilot through the pit board that he must build a gap of 21 seconds to compensate for the sanction. "Lacking radio communication, it took me a while to understand the team's message - why should I push when I saw my opponent in the rearview mirrors and I could easily replicate his times, running conservatively? When I realized what the actual situation was, I found some life in the used tires for a few more laps in 2:03 and it was enough to win ", Șiclovan stated at the end.
The climax of this race was lived at maximum intensity both by those present at the circuit and by the enthusiasts who watched the live broadcast. After such a contested race, Dinu Dumitrașcu concluded: “this was our most beautiful victory. The car was incredible and I had the confidence to push. I must emphasize the exceptional quality of the drivers in the competition: the speed of Sergiu Nicolae or Eduard Anton is amazing. From the outside you don't always realize what they are doing, but when you are behind them you learn on every turn, you just improve race by race. Pole, victory and the fastest lap in our account at the first contact with the counterclockwise direction of Motorpark Romania, this makes us very happy! ”
The points collected by the West Competition Racing and Best Next Pilot crews (fourth position in the Dacia Logan Cup) make sure Racing League Romania remains in first position in the team ranking. After this event, the team's attention shifts next weekend (July 17-18) to the evolutions of Alex Cascatău in the Supercar Challenge stage at Zolder and Radu Dumitrescu, who will race in the Radical Romanian Cup on Transylvania Motor Ring.
The next round of the Romanian Endurance Series will take place on August 14-15 on Transylvania Motor Ring. The two-hour race in Mureș County will be the first opportunity for the West Competition Racing crew to mathematically conclude the fight for one of the two titles - the A2 category. Subsequently, the rounds that are scheduled in October and November on Motorpark will be the decisive framework for the touring car division title in the Romanian Endurance Series.
RES Touring Open
West Competition Racing (D.Dumitrașcu/A.Șiclovan/A.Cascatău – BMW E36) 210p
BADI Racing (B.Anton/E.Anton) 172p
Ivan Motorsport (V.Ivan) 119p
Lerato Racing (L.Pascu/D.Trifonescu) 102p
Joule Racing (I. Bontea) 80p
West Competition Racing (D.Dumitrașcu/A.Șiclovan/A.Cascatău – BMW E36) 80p
Lerato Racing (L.Pascu/D.Trifonescu) 53p
X Racing Team (A.Prelea/A.Prelea) 5p
Racing League Romania 180p
Willi Motorsport 165p