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UNITED STATES TOURING CUP
Virginia International Raceway - North Course. 22 November 2018
July 22, 2015
Published on tags: YTF1

 

YTF1's team boss Matthew Allington reflects on the 2015 to date. Here he talks about revolving drivers, points and disappoints alongside future goals.

It's been a very up-and-down year for the YTF1 team as they take a rest during the summer break. Team boss Matthew Allington reflects on the season so far...

"In the Formula Challenge, we started the year in fantastic fashion. A long time was spent selecting the drivers, eventually settling on two Teemus: a talented rookie partnering with an experienced podium finisher. The former, Valkeejarvi, took two 7th place finishes in Australia to start the season just as we'd hoped. The latter, Toikka, struggled to reach such heights. Our season started to fall apart from that point: Valkeejarvi could never replicate his Australian form, whilst Toikka and the team parted ways early on. Plucked from the depths of the Open Series was his replacement, Johan Lindberg. Johan has done a splendid job since he's joined the team - he's picked up several points finishes, his positions improving event after event. It is to him whom I give credit to for the fact that we still remain higher up in the championship than we ever managed last year. In the other car, I will admit to having lost count of how many drivers have sat in there. I've even had a go in there myself, and was bitterly disappointed to lose a points finish to a disconnection!

"The International Touring Cup is a series in which, mainly thanks to the talents of Eric Stranne, we've previously had respectable form in. This year, we simply haven't managed to unlock as much pace as we'd hoped from the Ford Focus. We retained Tobias Olsson, Ben Hackeson and Rob Mason, but Olsson decided to abandon ship and moved to Bastvik. The hunt for a replacement was concluded when Thomas Hinss stepped up - scoring points in his first event was a positive start. James Ross and myself have also found our way into the Focuses, although with little success. I would expect that the second half of the season will see us continue to fight for the lower points positions, though having fun seems to be more the focus for this particular championship.

"The decision to enter the World Sport Series was a late one, but a strong application saw us on the grid. Unfortunately, one of our planned drivers defected before the season had even started! Another driver search later, and we have Sandeep Chodha and Roy Schroten in the seats. Sandeep only contested two rounds, with his car eventually being shared between myself and Bart de Vos. Bart had a great first event for us in Portugal, whilst Roy started finding points-scoring pace after a slow start. Coming into Silverstone, the whole YTF1 team had suffered a disappointing year. By a stroke of luck, I was on reversed-grid pole for race 2. At this point, some didn't even expect me to be leading at the end of the first lap - but YTF1 not only led one lap, but three quarters of the race! My first podium at the GPVWC was a tremendously uplifting result for the team. Then Bart took over for the Austrian round - another podium! As Roy continued to rack up points finishes, our position in the championship has looked a lot stronger. I called on Bart's services again for Hungary as I was flying to Prague. Sometime around midnight, I was sitting in a bar in the Czech capital when Bart sent me a message telling me thaat I'd missed out on the moment of glory - he'd gone and won the second race! I never expected for YTF1 to do particularly well in the WSS: three podiums including a win is fantastic!

"From the moment that the Atlantic Series was announced, I set my eyes on it as an opportunity for YTF1 to add more single-seater races and to transition into rFactor 2. It seems to be tradition for YTF1 to have a bad start to any new series that we enter: this was no exception, as neither Maurice Brackhahn or Rob Mason made it past the start line at the first event! A double points finish in round 2 was most welcome, in addition to establishing Maurice's potential as a podium threat. Eric Stranne, the man who drove our Astra to our first GPVWC win last year, took over from Rob for the Indy Classic, a race which turned out to be one of the maddest evenings of my life... Firstly, Maurice had to withdraw with a headache. Then Eric messaged me saying that me might not be able to make it, either. Cue panic, which subsides when Eric finds his way onto the track. To my disbelief, Eric survived the predicted carnage - and was set to win when poor Pedro Gomes got taken out by his own team-mate and poor Mike Bell clattered the wall. A certain spectator joked that Eric had crashed on the last lap - unfortunately I haven't yet found a suitable joke to play as revenge! Eric crossed the line first and there was delight! Until Eric told me that he used the Chevvy engine... The loss of the win was inevitable, but I'll happily take the podium: a podium which was immediately followed up by Maurice taking 2nd place at Las Vegas. A brilliant run of form! We hope we can get more podiums as the season reaches it's climax.

"As we head into the final part of the season, we have much to look forward to. One of these things is a new driver in the Atlantic Series: we're pleased to announce that Dewald Nel, Superleague driver, will be taking the wheel of the #22 car (which has been vacant since the Indy Classic), providing us with an opportunity to further strengthen our position in the championship standings.



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