Natacha Gachnang's weekend of juggling steering wheels at Portimao

Natacha Gachnang's weekend of juggling steering wheels at Portimao

02.08.2009: Sunday, a day of two races and the marathon of action continued for Natacha Gachnang with only a few minutes in between her Radical race and the Formula Le Mans race.

Sunday, a day of two races and the marathon of action continued for Natacha Gachnang with only a few minutes in between her Radical race and the Formula Le Mans race.

The young Swiss driver put in good performances all weekend in Formula Le Mans and in the Radical SR5 of the Hope PoleVision team.

Having set the second best time in the first qualifying of Formula Le Mans, Natacha succeeded in returning to the points with a strong eighth place overall, despite Christophe Pillon losing time with a spin and a faulty gear box.

In the second race, Christophe Pillon who started touched with a competitor and got a stop-and-go penalty. But Natacha, who rejoined in tenth place succeeded in making up ground and finished the race in seventh.

In Radical SR5, Natacha Gachnang was 20th and 12th in the two qualifying sessions before a great performance to finish second in her category. In the second Radical SR5 things started well but the race ended after only 17 laps with Natacha third in her category.

Natacha Gachnang commented
, "The weekend has been particularly long and busy ever since we arrived in Portugal on Wednesday and the first tests began on Thursday. We literally didn't stop for a moment but for me it has been a great experience to be able to adapt quickly each time we changed between the two cars."

"My engineers complimented me," she added. "They found that I was very quick with the Radical and appreciated my regular progress with each lap. Personally my second place was a real high point. The Sunday race was more difficult because of an accident in the first lap and my car lost a bit of performance. I suppose that of all the drivers here this weekend I covered the most kilometres.

"In both categories the level of driver skill is very high and the heat made conditions even tougher. It's important to train specifically for this to be able to keep your concentration with such a demanding weekend. I particularly enjoyed driving corner number seven which goes down and to the right - it was very challenging."

"In Formula Le Mans I didn't have the best start in the first race and was right away in fifth place, but I was soon in a good rhythm and one of the fastest drivers on the track. With my team mate we had a bit of bad luck after the pit stop when he had a gearbox problem.

In the second Formula Le Mans race I finished seventh and was  happy even though we had good starts, but all in all it was a good weekend, apart from John, the truck driver for Hope PoleVision who broke his foot in the paddock. We all worked together though and I even washed my own tyres with Andy my engineer! This weekend was a real marathon in the Portuguese sunshine and not just at the wheel!

Now I will rest for two weeks in Ibiza and train hard to ensure I'm ready for the end of the season. I'll be back in action at Donington Park on 15/16 August. I don't know the circuit, but will try to finish the season well."

Formula Le Mans and Radical SR5 at Portimao - Natacha Gachnang Races 1: 2nd today

Formula Le Mans, Free Practice 1 (car nr 18) - 3rd place 1.41.716

Formula Le Mans, Free Practice 2 (car nr 18) -5th place 1.41.088

Formula Le Mans, Qualifying practice 1 (car nr 18) -2nd place 1.43.408

Formula Le Mans, Race 1 - Finish Position 8 (car nr 18) with a best time of 1.40.850

Formula Le Mans, Qualifying practice 2 (car nr 18) -9th place 1-41.194

Formula Le Mans, Race 2 - Finish Position 7 (car nr 18) with a best time of 1.42.304

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Free practice General - 11th place 1.51.408

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Qualifying practice 1 - 20th place 1.54.302

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Race 1 - General Finish Position 13 - Best time 1.48.910

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Race 1 - Finish 2nd category SR5

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Qualifying practice 2 - 12th Best time 1.51.180

Radical SR5 (car nr 60) Race2- General Finish Position 21 - Best time

1.50.272 - 17 laps only - Natacha Gachnang third of her category.

- Agnew Carlier -   photo Natacha Gachnang


02.08.2009 / MaP

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