Post Race 1 press conference, Trofeo category

Valencia - ESP
04/09/2011

Nicolò Piancastelli 

Post Race 1 press conference, Trofeo category

04/09/2011 - Valencia
Nicolò Piancastelli (1st overall, 1st Trofeo): "Winning on a track that I don't know, like this one, is really satisfying."

"Things have gradually got better this weekend in Spain and this morning the first win came along. I got off to a good start and was then was lucky to see my rivals Ardagna and Baldi hit with a drive through that held them back. All I focused on was managing my lead, not taking any risks and getting my car to the finish line. I had to win to close the gap on the two leaders, the Tuscan and the Venezuelan. Now we go into the second race where there is everything to play for. I would like to end by thanking everyone who has helped me. A special dedication goes to my grandparents who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today and, even so, my grandfather was here to support me".

 

David Baldi: “After a good start, I managed to latch onto Piancastelli and was quite pacy. We were able to build up a decent lead over Bakker, in third, and so I concentrated on the championship placing. This was especially true after Ardagna’s drive through. I felt comfortable and maybe switched off a bit. This was why I made the mistake when the yellow flag was out: I had a back marker ahead of me at the ‘S’ and he moved aside to let me past. I didn’t wait for the green flag to come out before overtaking and even though there were only a few metres in it, I was hit with a penalty. This meant a drive through and starting from scratch. This was when Ardagna showed he had a little more about him than I do, especially as he has nothing to lose whereas I do. It is like having the Sword of Damocles hanging over you and it was not easy. In the end it was better to finish third and fourth, respectively, rather than second and third because I would have lost another point”.

 

Justino Riveroll: “This is my second Trofeo race and I am really enjoying it. The track is amazing and the car is brilliant to drive. I have improved as the weekend has gone on, from free practice through to qualifying and now the race. I would say that there are three groups of drivers here: Baldi, Ardagna, Piancastelli and Bakker were much faster than anyone else, then comes the group I would say I fit into quite well, and then come the other drivers. I was having an okay race and battling with Segler but made a mistake two laps from the end and was overtaken. I had a chance to make up for it and we were in the straight side-by-side. Then it was down to who would blink first, which ended with us both spinning and sliding off. I managed to stay off the sand and came back on in the same position. I am pleased because the race was a long and hard one; it seemed like it would never end. Now we will see how things go in the Race 2. I hope not to make any errors and drive consistently, something that is not simple to do when attacking or defending your position”.

 

Anita Toth: “I was able to improve my times in each session. It is great being back in a Maserati after missing out at Donington. I think I raced well and I had fun”.

 

Bela Csziser: “I am really proud at Anita finishing twelfth; she raced really well. My race ended on lap 1. I made un unforgivable error, probably due to being over-confident after constantly lapping quicker since the weekend opened. I hope things improve in Race 2”.

 

Mathjis Bakker (2nd overall, 2nd Trofeo): "My mindset was on surviving turn 2 which, at Valencia, is critical at the start. As it turned out, the turn offered me the chance to grab second spot as I came out of it much quicker than Ardagna. I didn't want to take any risks early on and opted to play a game of 'wait and see'. Ardagna and Baldi's drive throughs opened the door for me to take second but I almost threw it away at the very end when I had some trouble with a few back markers. It was a long race and I really felt the heat. I was drained at the end".

Gaetano Ardagna (4th overall, 3rd Trofeo):
“David Baldi overtook me early on and so I tried to hit back and then chase down Nicolò Piancastelli. Unfortunately, I was hit with a drive through that compromised my race. I honestly didn’t see the yellow flag or any cars in dangerous positions. Then I almost missed spotting the sign; I caught sight of it right near the end. This was lucky as it could have cost me a title shot. A few laps later, Baldi made the same mistake of overtaking with the yellow flag out. When he came back out, he was ahead of me and so I pushed on trying to catch him. I managed to get past before the chequered flag was shown which was good in terms of the championship. Now comes Race 2 which will probably be run in really hot conditions; we will have to be careful. I hope everyone has a good race”.

Gaetano Ardagna (4th overall, 3rd Trofeo): “David Baldi overtook me early on and so I tried to hit back and then chase down Nicolò Piancastelli. Unfortunately, I was hit with a drive through that compromised my race. I honestly didn’t see the yellow flag or any cars in dangerous positions. Then I almost missed spotting the sign; I caught sight of it right near the end. This was lucky as it could have cost me a title shot. A few laps later, Baldi made the same mistake of overtaking with the yellow flag out. When he came back out, he was ahead of me and so I pushed on trying to catch him. I managed to get past before the chequered flag was shown which was good in terms of the championship. Now comes Race 2 which will probably be run in really hot conditions; we will have to be careful. I hope everyone has a good race”.

 

Tani Hanna: “It was an unexpected result because I was making my debut in motor-racing. This is the first time I have competed against professional drivers and the aim was to finish the race, not to win it. This event is important in our preparation for the Trofeo Middle East as we needed to get to know 2011-spec cars. We achieved our goal, making the most of the time in free practice and in qualifying. I am pleased for my team mate and think that he might have won if he hadn’t had to start from the back of the field. We are weighing up the option of competing in the final two Italian events just to get some more experience”.

 

Mark Kroes: “Over the first few metres, I thought I would be able to stick with Mathijs (Bakker, ed). Then I made a mistake and spun into ninth place. I tried to make a quick comeback but, once I had got past Segler, I made an error changing gear. Rather than concentrate on the driving, I glanced at the dashboard and, when I looked up again, I realised that the braking point was already behind me. I braked as hard as I could but there was nothing I could do to avoid the impact”.

 

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