Reece closes the gap in Qualifying but challenging weekend at Norisring for the FORCH camp
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Friday 5th July 2019 - Free Practice
With no previous running, Friday free practice presented another new circuit for Reece and the famous Norisring street circuit was another first for the BRDC teenager, a relatively straightforward layout but a circuit with no room for error. The weather at Norisring for free practice was sunny and hot and Reece was looking forward to building back from the unfortunate disappointment at the recent Red Bull races. With the free practice this weekend limited to 60 minutes for the DTM festival it was going to be important to maximise the hour. For the first run on used tyres Reece was matching his two more experienced team mates Japp and Gustav, but again like the previous round the 88 car spent more than half the practice session in the pits due to a steering issue and no running on fresh tyres. Reece was now going into qualifying blind.
RB “I really like the street circuit format but clipping the barrier on turn two and breaking my steering has really compromised my running time which is especially important at these unforgiving and close circuits. We certainly have work to do to close the gap to the other teams setting the pace today and I’ll be pushing to get a good lap tomorrow in qualifying. It was great to hear that our Talent Pool activities this weekend will include lunch with Porsche CFO Karsten Sohns.”
Saturday 6th July 2019 - Qualifying & Race 1
The mid-morning start for qualifying was again sunny and hot, Reece was confident but respectful of the challenge ahead in his fourth qualifying in a Carrera Cup car. A full session ran for 30 minutes with no stoppages and Reece was pushing the limits and matching the pace of the other FÖRCH cars and a number of the championship contenders with only six tenths of a second covering the top 25 cars. The 88 rookie was to set a solid starting position for the races and was the best positioned FÖRCH Racing car for race one of the weekend in P14. The pace in qualifying was really good from Reece with so little running and first time at the circuit; and first time on a street circuit.
RB: “It was hard with no testing and limited free practice so to again get this close to the front guys I’m happy and would say my of my best qualifying in the Porsche. I’m still losing time exiting left corners as the car is sliding a lot and on the straights we are also down so we need to look at these points for the race this afternoon and then get a good start and some luck in the opening laps”
Saturday 6th July 2019 - Race 1
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon had Reece starting P14 on the grid and Reece was confident with his improved pace. A soft start off the line for Reece allowed two cars pass and then the cars settled into position for the opening laps with Reece now running P16 but again the teenager with absolutely no ‘luck of the Irish’ at this halfway point in the championship - the 88 unfortunately got caught up in the incident between car 14 and 22 with nowhere to go avoiding oncoming cars which damaged the front radiator of Reece’s car returning him to the pits and another DNF.
RB: “My start was not great as I bogged down in the second phase which let Japp and another car through and while the opening laps were better the contact and squeezing is just ridiculous out there. I was building back after the start and saw Toni Wolf charging behind but I guess he completely missed his breaking on my inside into the last corner and hit Nick and with cars behind overtaking on my right I had nowhere to go and collided with the rear of Wolf’s car which retired all three cars.”
Sunday 7th July 2019 - Race 2
Race 2 Sunday morning would see Reece start from P18 and the weather was a little cloudy with a sixty percent chance of rain and some drops as the cars move to pre-race assembly. The start was good with Reece moving up two slots into the first corner but the weekend of disappointment was to continue as the 88 car got squeezed into the barrier exiting turn one. Reece was to continue with a car that appeared down in pace and finished the race in P20, a weekend to forget. It was another weekend for the Project 1, Huber and Lechner teams and I’m sure with Reece’s own reflections the FÖRCH team will be having a deep review into the wider team performance.
RB: “My entire weekend has been like ‘pushing a rope’ and at this halfway point of the season we do need to reassess our campaign as we are definitely not where we should be. I’m generally good with picking up new circuits quickly as part of my preparations and my pace has continuously improved since the official test at Most. I’m super happy to be so close to the very experienced Porsche Cup drivers at the front of this highly competitive championship, having moved from a front-wheel drive touring car to this unique rear wheel race car but we are definitely missing something.
Being part of the Porsche Talent Pool really helped with my continuing challenges this weekend and gave insight to the corporate world of Porsche. It’s a great programme organised by Porsche Motorsport and ZF Group which gives the junior competitors in the championship a real interest and enthusiasm to progress. Thanks again to my team and to all my sponsors and supporters for making this happen.
Despite my challenges in the car this weekend it was great to have our friends from UK Recruiting Team experience Porsche Motorsport and DTM up close.”
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