After finishing top of the timesheets in Friday practice, Klaas van Snelheid continued his run of form this weekend, putting his Downton on pole for tomorrows Japanese V-Prix
As Formula Virtual heads to the land of the rising sun, it was the Downton Duo of Klaas van Snelheid and Nathaniel Powers who stamped their authority on Friday's running, over a tenth and a half clear of the rest of the field.
Good morning and welcome to Fuji, Japan for the team principal’s Thursday press conference ahead of this weekend’s Japanese V-Prix – round two of the 2019 Formula Virtual World Championship. Joining us today, from left to right, are; Ahmed Cheema of Cheema FV Racing, Hector Seibel of Andromeda Automobilismo Brasileiro, Jamie Franklin from Franklin, William Ingram of Ingram V-Prix, and Rai Miyamoto from Ocelot Japan Racing. Welcome to you all.
Franklin driver Enrique Ruiz kept his head in a chaotic race to win the Australian V-Prix, his and Franklin's first victory in 2 years. The Brazilian inherited the lead with a few laps to go after pole sitter Adrien Simon retired due to an engine failure. Downton began 2019 with a double podium, Klaas van Snelheid ahead of teammate and world champion Nathaniel Powers.
Following an Australian V-Prix that was somewhat of a disaster for the four DS Automobiles-powered cars, the brand have stated their desire to quickly get to the bottom of the engine issues that accounted for the races of both Sergio Alvarez and Adrien Simon, denying them both very strong results including a race win for the Frenchman.
DS Performance Head of Motorsport Arthur Lapierre was very fortright with the media: "We've come into this season with a brand new engine alongside the DS Mathershaw RJM-007 and DS Phoenix PX2 cars, and while both chassis have proven to be meeting and even exceeding expectations, the engine, while powerful, has shown itself to be a weak link for our teams today. We're committed to providing our DS Performance teams with the best possible machinery, so we will be launching a full enquiry into both engine failures."
"Both power units of Adrien and Sergio have been crated and are in the process of being shipped back to Le Mans for a full inspection with new units already on their way, while the two remaining motors in the back of the cars of Allar [Kangur] and Thierry [Xylander] will be stripped down and rebuilt prior to Japan. Further to this, we believe we have narrowed down the issue from the data, and the team back home are working extremely hard to produce replacement parts for the area affected."
Red Bull DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw sit a distant fifth in the title race, already 29 points off the top spot, while Ecotricity DS Automobiles Team Phoenix lie in 13th, currently at risk of falling into pre-qualifying should further bad luck fall their way.
Klaas van Snelheid has faced the media - supported by his manager Andreas Hendrikx and team principal Bradley Downton - to release a statement after failing to appear in the post-race press conference having finished second in the season opening Australian V-Prix.
Championship leaders Franklin are reportedly under pressure from sponsors who want to leave the team. The British outfit won the Australian V-Prix with Enrique Ruiz earlier today but despite that main sponsors Santander and Sony want to pull out their sponsorship of the team.
Adrien Simon has taken the first pole position of 2019 for Mathershaw, just edging out Franklin's Enrique Ruiz in a very wet session in which they were the class of the field.
Felix Pérez has topped an official Formula Virtual session for the first time in his career by ending practice for the season opening Australian V-Prix at the head of the time in his FIRST.
Good morning and welcome to Melbourne, Australia for the team principal’s Thursday press conference ahead of this weekend’s Australian V-Prix – the opening race of the 2019 Formula Virtual World Championship. Joining us today, from left to right, are; Lucas Wilson of Lucas V-Prix, Adrian Arnello of Arnello Milner & Ronson Autosport, Bradley Downton from Downton FV Team, Arthur Lapierre of Red Bull DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw, and Dylan Lopez from Lopez FV Team. Welcome to you all gentlemen.