Roberts Vitols fights back after an unlucky beginning to secure 3rd place overall overnight as he concludes his first day in FIA World Rallycross Championship paddock for electric RX2E class. Despite being back in a race car after almost a year break the speed shown on Day 1 proved that Roberts still knows how to drive race car and promises exciting battles for a home win tomorrow on Day 2.
After completed 9 laps in Free Practice Roberts Vitols was already able to set the 2nd fastest lap time only 0,2 sec from Free Practice leader Sjokvist. A lot of learning and adapting for Vitols but proving he still knows how to drive a race car after such a break.
Ambitious Manoeuvre In Heat 1
Roberts Vitols started his World Rallycross Championship debut qualifying race in the RX2E class very ambitiously. A difficult starting position from P4 – the very outside required some different and brave approach. Roberts was ready for risk and after a good getaway attempted to pass competitors around the outside at higher speed as after turn 1 comes sudden turn 2 which then would be the inside line and advantage for Roberts.
Robert’s just 2 practice run experience this morning with the electric RX2E car turned out to be too short to learn that as soon as Roberts threw the car sideways to point it towards turn 2 the car snapped and went completely other direction, making Vitols smash the barriers with his doors. Young Vitols didn’t hesitate to get his car back in a race but lot of time was already lost. Even with a crash, he managed to recover to 3rd place already after 2 laps and catch back up to the leaders within 4 laps.
Roberts set the overall fastest single lap time by almost 0,5 sec and left a strong sign that he is in for a battle. Heat 1 finished in 7th place out of 8 drivers.
Back To Top In Heat 2
Second qualification race Vitols started from 3rd place which he also maintained after turn 1. However, Ugis Vitols, father of Roberts and also his spotter for this weekend saw a opportunity with Joker strategy for Roberts to climb up some positions which helped Roberts to pass the representative of Andorra, Raul Ferre, and move up to 2nd place.
Roberts race turned out to be the fastest one out of two which allowed him to secure 2nd place overall in the second qualification heat only behind Swede Sjokvist.
3rd Overall Overnight
With the first two qualification heats finished, the Day 1 of Roberts World Rallycross Championship RX2E debut was done with a proud result – 3rd overall after all the actions and learning.
Comments from Roberts after Day 1
“The electric car is very different from the internal combustion engine cars, both from the point of view of construction and driving. I once managed to pull off such a trick here, entering the first corner from the outside in front of the others some years back. I think I was the first one to do so back then and knew I can do that manoeuvre again. I knew that I don’t want to settle with 4th or 3rd place but want to exit turn 1 as a leader.“
“At the moment, the main problem is the rear of the car, which slips a lot unexpectedly. Because of this, I turned and hit the wall. In the second race, I didn’t have the best start, but I continued to follow those in front, and with good joker tactics and speed we also recovered one position. It was a little bit short of climbing to the very top. The stability is visible in the lap times, however we will continue to work on the adjustments to prevent rear end slippage. After two qualifications, we are third, tomorrow we must continue to fight. Everyone will definitely be working with data tonight, we have to do more than everyone else!” Debut impressions are summarized by Roberts Vitols.