It was not a lucky weekend for the CRG Racing Team the one that has just ended on the Portimao track in Portugal, where Round 1 of the FIA European Championship OK & OK Junior took place. Gabriel Gomez‘ retirement in the OK Final due to a technical problem and the one of Viktor Gustafsson due to a race contact, heavily influenced the team’s balance, partially saved by the good performance of Olin Galli, who started in the back of the grid due to a problem in the Super Heat , but able to recover positions with a great race pace up to P13, just out of the top ten.
With 3 races still to be done the Championship will be long and the gloves are off, but certainly the CRG drivers collected much less than they deserved in Portugal. Spaniard Adrian Malheiro was also very unlucky as he got involved in 3 accidents during the heats, after he started his weekend in the best way with P3 and P5 in the first heats. In OK Junior Nikolas Roos had a good race, even if conditioned by some ups and downs in the heats that placed him only in P28 on the starting grid of the Finals, where he got stuck in the tussle, closing the race outside the point zone. We also need to talk about Francisco Macedo‘s difficult weekend in OK Junior, who lacked experience in this type of competitions.
In any case, there are many positive aspects from the point of view of performance from which the team can continue to work, in view of the next scheduled appointment at the Zuera track in Spain. We remind you that the FIA European Championship OK and OK Junior will be assigned over 4 races, with the last two of them scheduled in Sweden and Italy. The ambitions of the technical staff and CRG drivers are high and we will work without break to close the gap necessary to fight for the podium in the direct drive classes.
Drivers post race reactions
Olin Galli (OK): “There was a lot of tussle on the track and to understand the wrong approach of many drivers, just think that 11 penalties were given in my Super Heat on Sunday morning. Exactly in this race a contact made me end up behind and made me lose many positions on the starting grid of the Final. If I had started later today we would probably be talking about another race, because in the Final I had good balance and good speed. I finished in the points in any case and this is positive, as is all the work done on chassis and engine set-up over the weekend, but we are a still bit disappointed because our goal must be to stay in the top ten and fight for the podium. Now it’s time to look to Zuera’s next round, a track that I like and where we have to do absolutely well”.
Viktor Gustafsson (OK): “If I analyze the race from the point of view of performance, I can underline many positive things, both for the chassis and for the engine. In qualifying I made a mistake and so in the heats I started further and further behind our potential, but we did a lot of really positive races with excellent speed. Unfortunately, a contact in the Final put an end to all our ambitions, but looking at the rest of the season I think we did a good job and the results the team deserves will soon arrive”.