Fittje Leaves Jerez 3rd in EFO Standings
London, U.K. – Jannes Fittje racked up a good haul of points at the penultimate round of the 2017 Euroformula Open (EFO) in Jerez on the weekend. Finishing P4 and P5, the German driver moves up to third in the overall championship standings and regains second spot in the rookie standings.
Less than a week after his double podium in Monza, Fittje arrived in Jerez for a busy weekend, which featured the EFO as well as the penultimate rounds of the FIA Formula 2 and GP3 Series.
Conditions were dry with air temperature approaching mid-thirties during the event. Fittje drove competitively on his last visit to Jerez in the EFO car and he was quickly setting the pace during free practice on Friday. RP Motorsport sent Fittje out on new tyres for the first session in order to run a qualifying simulation in cooler and more favourable conditions. The second session was spent on used tyres and making configuration changes in preparation for qualifying.
On Saturday, Fittje was unfortunate to be caught out by a red flag which fell during his flying lap. He had been on target for a front row starting position, but was set back to his previous best time that placed him P7 on the grid for Race 1.
The Deutsche Post Speed Academy driver wanted to turn around his fortunes in Race 1 and subsequently made a lightning start off the line, making up two positions by taking the inside line into Turn 1. From there, the race settled and became a processional affair around the narrow Andalusian circuit – designed primarily for motorcycle racing as opposed to single-seaters. Fittje crossed the finish line P5.
Fittje conceded that a mistake cost him in qualifying on Sunday. Once again, the German would have been on the front row, but a slight error cost him +0.15s and placed him P4 behind Carlin’s De Francesco. A slow getaway at the start of Race 2 pushed Fittje back to P5, but he managed to fight back and later regained his P4 start position. Having witnessed the severe tyre degradation of some of the F2 drivers, Fittje wanted to reel in De Francesco and Troitskiy, but a gap of several seconds to the front-runners would be too much of a gap to close in without some form of drama up ahead. The German finished the final race of the weekend in P4.
Speaking about his weekend, Fittje said:
“Over the weekend it was difficult for me. I wasn’t really comfortable at Jerez as I was losing a lot of time at Turns 5 and 8. As these are fast corners, your lap time is punished if you are not quick there. I didn’t have problems there in my previous outings at Jerez, but tiredness may also have been a factor as last weekend we were in Monza and this week I have been busy with the Speed Academy in Germany with quite a bit of travel.
“We had bad luck in quali on Saturday with the red flag, otherwise I would have been P2. After a good start, my race was quite boring because it is very hard to overtake at Jerez.
“On Sunday I made a mistake in qualifying and at the start of the race, but I took back the position I lost at the start and tried to catch back up to De Francesco, but the gap was too big so I was just driving laps until the end of the race.
“Harrison Scott is quite good on this track. On used tyres we are the same, but he knows where to find the time on new tyres. He has driven on the Michelin tyre for a number of years so he has good experience and it is great to learn from him in the areas of the track that he is especially fast.
“I have moved up to third place in the championship and second place in the rookie championship so I’m looking forward to the final race weekend in Barcelona.”
Due to recent political events taking place in Cataloinia, the EFO organisers are working to confirm the go-ahead of the scheduled season finale in Barcelona from 26-29 October.