Jacques Mizzi misses 2nd place on the podium at Rockingham International Circuit‏

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:52

21-year old Jacques Mizzi had an excellent start in the opening round of the 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series championship in the United Kingdom at the Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit, until the penultimate lap.

 

On the basis of the qualifying session on Saturday, Jacques secured the 7th position on the starting grid with a fastest lap of 1 minute 31.731 seconds, recorded on the very last lap of the 20-minute qualifying session, in the course of which he even called at the pits.

 

This fast qualifying time meant a significant 1.265 seconds better than the fastest lap registered at the same circuit in last year’s sister UK Clio Cup Championship. Unfortunately, Jacques could not participate in the test day held a few days earlier, given the distance and expenses involved. If he had, he might have improved his qualifying time even more.

 

There were a total of 18 drivers, including 5 taking part in the Roadcar Series, and the rest competing in the Racecar Series like Jacques. Jacques is the only other non-British driver in the championship, in addition to the Norwegian Tommy Ostgaard. It is clear that Jacques is at a disadvantage given the lack of racing facilities in Malta, and the higher expenses and limited time to train in the UK.

 

From the 4th row on the starting grid, Jacques gained the 3rd position by the end of the first lap and maintained that position until the end of the 4th lap. In the 5th lap, Jacques succeeded to move into the 2nd position, 0.575 seconds behind race winner David Dickenson.   

 

Jacques succeeded to defend his 2nd position – the best in his racing career in the UK with Clio racing cars – until lap 8. He had a comfortable margin of 3.441 seconds – the widest until then – ahead of third place Tommy Ostgaard. Tommy was eventually disqualified because his dry weather slick tyres were not according to the sporting regulations.

 

2nd fastest lap of the race

 

In the 8th lap Jacques registered a time of 1 minute 32.093 seconds at a speed of 75.83 mph, his best in the race and the second fastest lap, behind the 1 minute 31.650 seconds recorded by race winner David Dickenson.

 

Jacques races better under pressure, and unfortunately, at the apex of the fourth corner in the 9th lap he lost his Clio under braking as the rear of the car through him into a spin and ended on the gravel, where he got stuck and could not finish the race.  

 

In the afternoon race, things went even worse. On the basis of the second best time in the qualifying session, Jacques started from the 5th row of the grid in 9th position.

 

By the end of the 1st lap Jacques gained 3 positions and was in the 6th place. But then he locked the brakes and dropped to 10th place by the end of the second lap. As he started to try and regain positions in the 3rd lap, his Clio was hit in the rear wheel as he was overtaking a driver. As a result, the car spun into another competing Clio, and Jacques’ car suffered a broken rear sub-frame and he had to retire.





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