Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

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Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

Post by Cynon on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:15 pm

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Re: Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

Post by Ben Atkins on Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:51 pm

Press Conference:
Finally - Atkins notches first points of season in emphatic way.

Making the Karjala Grand Prix was the big objective for Atkins and the Tutino team entering the week, and even though it took until the final round of qualifying for the Brit to lock himself into his first ever Karjala Grand Prix, Atkins shown speed in other session of qualifying, and potential to do well. Atkins did just that.

Atkins ran what was described by the voice of Dash Cup, Todd Benatar, as "the race of his life", with it being described as "his best showing ever", despite Atkins' success in special events previously (he had notched a top 5 in the Decatur Grand Prix all the way back in 2011) but Tutino had never scored points in a special event until today, and it is the first time Atkins has scored points in a special event since the aforementioned top 5 at Decatur.

After climbing from his car, Atkins reacted like he had won the race, as the pressure of trying to score points and showing a solid performance with Tutino had gone off his shoulders, and an emotional Atkins spoke to his wife-to-be, Dash Cup title hopeful Hannah Percy, who had attempted and failed to make the race. This was also Atkins' first top 15 with the team since his arrival back in 2013.

"This is unreal. Seriously just... amazing" said Atkins, "As a team, we've tried and tried to get a good result out of the car all year, but it never came together. I can tell you, it came together perfectly today! More than perfectly! I knew we were capable of making the race, but I had no idea what was to come next! Seriously, these 20 points I've notched today make me feel like I've won the damn thing!"

"It's only justice that my good friend Alessandro [Rossini] took the win today. He's been amazing with Volpi and it was a long time coming. He helped me so much last year and it shows! I just hope we can keep up this good momentum. If we do, I can see us notching a solid 60 or 70 points this year!"

Atkins' next outing will be in the Russian Grand Prix, where he will yet again race with Hannah Percy, his aforementioned wife-to-be. Atkins remains optimistic that he and the #50 team will have a showing as strong as they did today.

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Re: Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:37 pm

Post-Race Press Release:
Fochesato Drops Out of Karjala Grand Prix Early After Heavy Impact With the Turn 10 Tire Barriers
4 May 2014

Segafredo Euroteam, partnering up with FIAM Engineering, entered three cars in the 38th running of the Karjala Grand Prix, and Vincenzo Fochesato became their only representative to qualify for the main race. While he may race under the flag of Italy, the 21-year-old Fochesato grew up in the U.S. state of Michigan, and has spent his developing career racing stock cars on American short tracks. He is the only representative of the FARC LoBo Truck Tour to have started this year's running of the historic event.

The big day, however, ended 69 laps short for Fochesato, and in quite spectacular fashion.

After gaining three positions by the end of the opening lap thanks to an aggressive standing start (the first of his career), Fochesato had made his way up to 34th at the start of lap 2. However, minutes later, he lost traction in the rear end of his FIAM 70GT on only his fourth venture through the famed Dwyer S, and looked to be about to correct the car until he swept across the path of Hanmore Formula Overdrive standout Cliff Raymond, taking both cars into the turn 10 gravel trap and into the tire barriers in a heavy impact. Car #175 was knocked off of its wheels, sliding through the gravel with its driver's door to the ground and it's roof against the rails. The accident forced Fochesato and Raymond to exit the race with a mere three laps complete. Fochesato would be scored in the 45th position out of the race's record-breaking 46 starters.

Shortly after being released from the medical care center and as the race continued, Fochesato was seen trying to apologize to the members of his own team and to some crew members from Hot Lunch Racing. He then spoke to the press regarding his past week.

"That was one heck of a ride! I've never had my car get that far of off the ground, but when you make a mistake here, this track really makes you pay for it. Actually, I guess that's what I can say that I learned from being here if I had one thing to take away from today!" said Fochesato with a laugh. "To be honest, though, I still don't think that I've gotten over the sheer accomplishment of qualifying for the Karjala Grand Prix. I still feel like the kid that I was growing up and dreaming of being here, and I'm so fortunate that I've actually lived that dream today. I'll always want to remember my first Master Cup race, but I hope that this won't be my last. I'm extraordinarily grateful for Segafredo Euroteam, FIAM, and Alessandro [Rossini]; they all had faith in me and gave me the car that I needed to even have an opportunity to race, and I've had a wonderful time at Karjala!"

Fochesato would spend the remainder of the race with the Segafredo crew. He was reported to have been jumping and shouting at the television with joy as Alessandro Rossini was able to navigate around lapped traffic throughout the final lap of the race and score the victory. Rossini originally hired Fochesato to attempt the TM Master Cup Series special events in 2013 for FIAM Engineering, a team that has been working very closely with Segafredo Euroteam to field the three cars that they brought to Finland. The victory, the first of his career, makes Rossini the first Italian to win a TMMCS race.


Last edited by SpeedDemon37 on Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

Post by dkracer on Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:25 am

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Re: Race 07: Karjala Grand Prix

Post by Cynon on Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:10 am

Volpi Thrilled with Rossini Performance

The Karjala Grand Prix was a race where Volpi Racing Team has had success in the past. However, after timing in only 25th, Volpi driver Alessandro Rossini appeared to be a longshot for a win. The Italian capitalized on the errors of his rivals, the pace of his car, and his race strategy to claim victory in the dying moments of the 38th Karjala Grand Prix. It is the first win for an Italian in the TM Master Cup series.

"It is a beautiful victory, a most beautiful performance by everyone." team owner Cyril Volpi stated after the race.
"We had some problems with Roderick's car, but I could see that seeing Alessandro win made Leonid happy. You have no idea how hard Leonid pushed us to get Alessandro on the team."

The four-time series champion and three-time Karjala winner had multiple problems early in the race before a suspension failure put him out before half distance. Roderick was still happy once the final results came in.

"A lot of people doubted me when I said [Alessandro] was going to be a good fit here. It's not just that he's an Italian driver in an Italian team, he really makes smart decisions when it comes to adjusting a car." Roderick said.
"He's improved on his ability to race other people on track a lot since he started... that's why he won today."

Rossini's victory was also a popular win with his competitors, especially with former employer Marino Tutino. While Tutino's own car, driven by Ben Atkins, found its way to a points finish, Tutino's crew were celebrating the win as much as Volpi's.

"He is a greater man than he is a driver, and he is a great, great driver." Tutino said to the press after the Karjala Grand Prix.

Hodges Pleased with Krikorian

David Krikorian entered 2014 as the Hodges-Walter Racing third driver, a role that previously was given to drivers whose careers were winding down long before they began. Drivers such as Daniel Mendoza, Paul Gartley, Sam Morel, and Eric Bender never got to race one of the prized Hodges-Walter cars in a TM Master Cup series race. Hodges himself performed some testing duties before scaling back after the Round of Wales last year, a race he is expected to run again.

Team co-owner Alan Hodges named Krikorian as one of the team's drivers last year, and while Krikorian's abilities as a tester were known, his racecraft, particularly on road courses, was perceived to be lackluster. During the Karjala Grand Prix, however, Krikorian fired a firm shot back at his critics, leading nearly the entire race from the pole.

"He fits in with Adrien [Devereux] and Mélanie [Clévenot] very well. They share input, understand what the others like, but once the green flag comes out, it's every man and woman for themself." Hodges said.
"I feel terrible for him because there were two other pit crews that were a bit faster than we were. We knew DK has the speed, he just needs the luck... if three car teams come back, then it's a pretty easy decision for the third car, isn't it?"

Soveral Says Relationship with Crew Chief Strong

For much of this season, the relationship between driver Luciano Soveral and crew chief Gary Hall has been a topic of discussion. The very animated pair appear to argue and vent over the radio frequently, with Hall's comments often making it onto the Channel 44 recap show.

Hall and Soveral often appear to be at odds with each other, with very loud and explicit opinions. However, Soveral stated that he feels the relationship between the two is strong, on and off the track.

"Gary and I work pretty well as a team. People make up some weird fantasy about how we are off track." Soveral said.
"The reality is that Gary and I are good friends away from the track, as well."

Hall's sentiments echoed Soveral's.

"Luci is a hell of a wheelman... I really like him, he can smell bulls@#% from a mile away."

Kard Hospitalized After Fire

While an unfortunate number of drivers made checks to the infield care center, only Jacob Kard was kept overnight for observations. Kard, who was running a strong second before a fire took him out of the race, complained of dizziness. While there were suspicions that his condition was caused by fumes, it had been known that Kard was unwell on race day.

"Jacob wasn't feeling well before the race started, but he was cleared to start. We had José Luis [Martinez] on standby, but Jacob said he was doing fine until the fire started." Lenard International team manager Adam Samson stated to the press.
"We will be monitoring his situation closely and if he needs to be replaced for the Round of Russia, we will have someone to fill in."

Rumors that Kard had been acting strangely after his crash with Scott Falkner in qualifying were denied by the team. An unnamed source claimed Kard had said he was "afraid" of the Falkner car ever since the collision, and that "voices in his head" told him he should have known better, but wasn't sure if Kard was joking or not.

Rainsford Not Impressed with Ashby

Alexis Rainsford looked like her old self on the track during the 2014 Karjala Grand Prix. Rainsford, a former two-time TM Master Cup series champion and 2011 Karjala winner, has since moved on to Champ Cars, and won the Indianapolis 500 last year, which, despite being only her second win in the series, makes her the only driver to win both Karjala and Indy. It also makes her yearly appearances at Karjala all the more special. Rainsford had to wait for round 4 of qualifying to assure herself a place in the field, but she looked back to her old self once the race began.

Steadily working her way through the field, Rainsford appeared to have not lost any of her racecraft, but had added patience to her repertoire. However, her strong run was interrupted after she was punted by BlackDiamond Racing driver Zelda Ashby, who led the TM Master Cup points standings coming into the race. Ashby was given a time penalty on the spot, and while Rainsford still salvaged a points finish, it was not what she was looking for. Never one to mince words, Rainsford made her thoughts clear after the race.

"The funny bit is that the 55 team thinks they're championship threats. When [Ashby] drives like that, they sure as hell aren't." Rainsford offhandedly said to a reporter after the race.
"Really, it's a perfect example of a driver who isn't as talented as they think they are. The worst bit is that she'll never realize that."

Henton 'Disheartened' After Karjala

While Karjala may have gone smoothly for a number of her competitors, 2013 Karjala winner Divina Henton admitted a huge sense of disappointment. Henton only timed in 44th in final time trials and barely escaped the embarrassment of being the only Karjala winner to fail to qualify the following year. Henton ran into problems early and often and only barely managed to score championship points.

"I'm just really disheartened over this year and this week. I'm so glad it's over. Maybe we can salvage a podium this year." Henton said to the press.

Henton's team, Lynxe Racing, is undergoing a massive slump after a surprising turn of form in 2013, where both of their cars challenged for the championship. However, the Lynxe cars have been suffering from a deficiency in both engine power and aero development. The Gessler engine has been reportedly a bit down on power since the start of the season, as the Carl Richter-owned Gessler factory team has had a similar issue.

Yuliya Nosova and Ingrid Haddeland, Henton's teammates, both struggled during Karjala as well, but neither of them to the same degree as Henton. Nosova, the 2007 Karjala winner, had problems qualifying but had a largely drama-free race. Rookie Ingrid Haddeland, conversely, made it through qualifying much earlier than her teammates after a tire gamble late in round two of qualifying, however, Haddeland struggled with a push condition that saw her off course and lapped. Most importantly, however, Haddeland did not do serious damage to the car.

"The bleeding must stop. It will stop." Nosova claimed after the race.
"The team lost some people at the end of last year. It can not put us down."

Manticore Thrilled with Carroll Showing

After a very rough first two seasons of his TM Master Cup series career, one might not have suspected Ohio's Packer Carroll to have a pleasant 2014 season. The reality is that Carroll, while in far inferior equipment, has run smoother, steadier races than he had at Volpi. Carroll's teammate, Louis Kingston, has a similar driving style and racing mentality, leading to Manticore Engineering earning the nickname "Manticore Enforcers".

Kingston and Carroll's teamwork was on full display during the Karjala Grand Prix, where Kingston's #17 Nemoto would routinely jam up traffic and allow Carroll past in advantageous situations. Carroll also drove an error-free race, the bulk of it was spent in company of nothing but lapped cars. Carroll's pace picked up mid-race, and he was fast enough to overcome Ryan Matthews before Matthews crashed into the lapped car of Nils Tolonen. Carroll's drive earned him a strong fifth place finish.

Manticore Engineering team owner Matt Roche claimed that Carroll perhaps didn't fit the culture at Volpi.

"I think our secret to getting speed out of Packer is the team environment over here. Cyril [Volpi] runs a good team, but they have a culture that can be really hard to adapt to. I don't think Packer fit over there... kind of a square peg in a round hole." Roche said to the press.
"Packer has his own set of guys he likes working with, they know what he wants and can relate it to everyone else."

Carroll's status with Manticore Engineering has apparently not changed. He is only on a one-year deal, but reports of Carroll buying out the team with Isanni backing have persisted since the start of the season. Manticore Engineering and Nemoto are believed to only be in a one year partnership, as both Star Nemoto and Manticore Engineering took a significant financial hit last season. Manticore Engineering has not said how much support Nemoto are giving them.

Devereux Laments Driving, Officiating Standards

While the Karjala Grand Prix was a triumphant tale of a hard-trying Alessandro Rossini earning his first career victory in fine style, some of his competitors left Karjala with less than satisfactory feelings. One such was two-time series champion Adrien Devereux, who left Karjala with choice words for some people.

Devereux was sidelined early in the event with multiple mechanical problems on his Calton-Morel Altair, but he still had strong feelings over what he had seen on the racetrack.

"The best part about this race was that the driver who won deserved to win. Too many other people made the series look like a joke." Devereux said, referring to the numerous incidents in the infamous Dwyer S.
"How some people fail to realize basic things such as how to race people cleanly, brake for the pitlane, or just elementary things like spatial awareness, or not looking at blue flags is unreal."

Devereux was also critical of the TM Master Cup officials, whom, in his eyes, needed improvement.

"THe stewards need to pay more attention to what is going on out there more. I don't understand how some people get penalties for racing accidents when there are people swerving and putting other drivers on top of the tire walls... the stewards need to be paying more attention." Devereux said.
"They're setting a dangerous precedent... it seems like there's no consistency. I don't know if they're playing favorites, it seems like they would need to be actually watching the race in order to do that."

Devereux raised his concerns with race director Ryan Reinhart, but Devereux did not appear satisfied with the response that he had gotten.

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