The seventh round of the season was no fairytale. In fact, it was the exact opposite for the West Competition Racing crews and we can't even blame the weather.
Even before the race evening started, there was a slight worry in regards to the prequalifying of the Aqirys Racing crew in the first group, thus curtailing Victor Nicolae's chance to grab pole position. It proved to be right, as track conditions improved, thus relegating Nicolae to a second row start, despite winning his section ahead of the championship leading car. Cezar Toader (Textar eSports) and Sebastian Apostol (WCR Junior Team) also delivered solid qualifying performances in that less fortunate first group, sharing the third row.
Two laps into the race and it was all doom and gloom in our camp, as Toader and Apostol tangled in the Hugenholz hairpin, then Nicolae was also involved in an incident in the same corner. Toader went on to battle for fourth place during the first hour, while Nicolae recovered a string of positions to get himself back into podium contention. Just when it seemed that early misfortune had been left behind, erratic pit strategies brought further nails in the coffin.
Both crews switched to slicks by mistake and were constrained to visit the pits once more to revert to the fitting rain tires that Zandvoort demanded. Nicolae also breached the pit lane speed limit, forcing teammate Cascatău to serve a 30-second penalty as well. Alex was down in 20th and from then on he started a spirited recovery drive that ended in P9, one place ahead of Mihai Rusu in the sister Textar car, both proving that the pace was clearly there.
Though, that's one of the few positives after a round that might be discarded in the final calculations, where only the top 8 of 10 scores will count for the championship. In two weeks time, the last one hour race of the season will take place at the mythical Monza circuit. There's absolutely no more room for error in the Aqirys camp in order to keep the title hopes of Victor Nicolae and Alex Cascatău alive.
1.Willi Motorsport 107p, 2. Motul eSports 91p, 3. Walk Racing 77p, 4. Aqirys Racing 77p, 5. Textar eSports 50p... 23. WCR Junior Team 0.5p
You can go through our emotions once more by rewatcing the stream.