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2 Jun, 2008

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The race at Paul Ricard

May 31-June 1 2008

The first weekend in June the Ferrari Challenge Europe raced at Paul Ricard outside Marseille. The facility is probably the worlds best test track, with an airfield in the area, conference halls, restaurants and up to almost 200 possible track variations.
Tony was confident prior to the race, as the test here 3 weeks ago gave some very encouraging results. Fridays both test sessions were ruined by rain though, not so common in the region this time of  the year. During the first qualifying Tony managed 9th place on the grid, and when the race started local boy Nicolas Misslin took the lead and held it till his car stopped out on the track, bringing the security car to collect the field halfway through the race. Tony at that moment held a safe 9th place, but when the pace car left the track and the green flag was wawed, rain fell on parts of the track. Tony had a moment in the wet, and was passed by two cars, ending up a disappointing 11th place.
In the sunday race, the sun was shining and the temperatures were up to almost 30 degrees. Tony started at 12th place on the grid with Björn Grossman on pole, and at the start Tony passed one car directly, then he fought hard all through the race, climbing a few places and ending up at 9th place when the chequered flag fell. A much happier racing driver after this race compared to the one the day before, as he could almost equal the lap times of the fastest drivers and defend his position in the last stage of the race.
– Regarding the first race I was disappointed because I felt that I had the possibility in my own hands to make a good result, but did a stupid mistake in the end and lost a couple of valuable places. On the other hand, I cannot blame anybody else than myself, and sometimes you do mistakes and have to learn from them.
– The sunday race was more to my liking, and from a worse grid position I managed to make up places and produce a decent result. I was very satisfied to be able to keep some of my normally quicker competitoirs abay for the whole race, even if there was very close racing, and they pushed me in every corner.
– The most positive aspect of the weekend is that we finally start to get the setup to my preferences. From now on we can really start to maximise the car for both qualifying and race.
The result from the both races added good points to the total score and Tonys dealer Autohaus Gohm now is one of the top dealers in the series, as Tonys Gohm teammate Björn Grossman managed 3rd in the first race and won the second.
Next venue for the Ferrari Challenge Europe is the race at Misano Adriatico in Italy in the middle of July.

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