ART entered two FB2 cars for rounds 7 to 10 at the new Guangdong International Circuit (GIC). Our regular driver, Jesse Dixon (AUS) had been joined by James Birch (GB). Birch participated in some Pacific rounds earlier this year as a guest driver with good success and was anxiously looking forward to participating with his new team.
Ingo Strackerjan, team principal, was equally excited; “We were pleasantly surprised that James choose us over some other teams as competition for drivers is at an all-time high considering the time of year and the still lingering economic situation in Europe. But I believe that, after researching and discussing all matters, we were chosen due to the fact that we are and always have been, true to our beliefs - a team with only one goal and one issue in mind - giving the best to our drivers. We expected from Jesse and James no less than full commitments and the best results they could give.
Birch’s car was attended by our European mechanic Andoni and Birch’s experienced coach and mentor Alf Boarer, while Dixon had his favourite mechanic, Mark, whom he had from the beginning of this exciting 2010 FBMW Pacific season. Engineering for both cars was done under the supervision of ART’s full time engineer, Lucas Strackerjan.
Both cars were sponsored by our team sponsor Branson-China and Kartbahn Indoor Racing in Halifax.”
Dixon took his off-BMW Pacific-racing time to concentrate on his new fitness program and participating in the Magny-Cours, France rounds of the Formula Lista Championship.
Well, all in all - this weekend was the worst of the worst in terms of weather, logistics, and crashes for the team.
Dixon started 4th in Race 1 only to be sidelined by a spectacularly blown engine on the front straight with only 4 more laps to go while running comfortably in 3rd place. Birch held his position and fought desperately for places.
After a near record engine change time, Dixon made it to the grid for Race 2 within 15 seconds of pitlane closing to see him gain 3 points in the race. Meanwhile, Birch was luckier with 6 point being added to his total.
Race 3…how to spell disaster? A great run for Dixon from 16th to 7th that ended abruptly in turn 5 after a failed passing attempt. Birch struggled and would only manage an eventual 11th place in the race.
Race 4 did not bring any end to ART’s bad luck at GIC. Dixon’s race ended in lap 1 with severe damage to his FBMW race car while Birch lost his front wing in the opening stages. A great run and fantastic passes from Birch would be the best that he would take from the race as he came up just short of a points finish.
“We are now struggling to provide Jesse with a replacement car out of our Swiss team. It sits now at the airport in Europe waiting for air freight to Singapore as Jesse’s original car is basically a write-off,” says Ingo. “This whole weekend was jinxed right from the beginning - logistic problems, customs delays, the constant down pours of rain, parts supply issues - all in all a weekend we like to forget!”
At this time ART wishes also to announce the intent to participate in the new 2011 FORMULA PACIFIC SERIES with two FB2 cars.
Prepared by www.atlanticracingteam.com