Upon completing of the challenging and eventful racing season it's so pleasant to look backwards and compose a harmonious picture from separated pieces, bright memories of the past races.
The beginning of the season was rather aggressive: the drivers were missing the work they loved. It wasn't simple to overrun on the 3-dimensional track of Ledenon with its blind corners, uphills and downhills, especially after the winter break. Oleksandr Gaidai was making desperate attempts to overtake Roar Lindland, but all ended up with touching, U-turn, and the broken wheel disk too. Afterwards Oleksandr escaped from the track having caught the mud with the wheel and finished the race in the end of the peloton.
The Sunday race had to be a revenge but for the cataracts of heaven. The racing Porsches' construction does not cover the hydrofoil, and there was nothing to do that Sunday in Ledenon without such a body kit. In one hour and a half of waiting it became clear that it was impossible to run the race.
The second round on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit became the pearl of the season not only for our team. Oleksandr Gaidai got on the French series' podium for the first time of the year on Saturday, in the rain again: bronze in the Division B. And on Sunday...
The Sunday was retained in everybody's memory for a long time. The morning rain stilled, but the track remained wet. It was logical to take the rain tires for the vehicles. But only one driver from Odessa said that he would use... slicks!
Having started from the 12th position, Oleksandr Gaidai slid and became the 14th, and then... Then the track began to dry bit by bit. No, it still was damp and slippery, but Gaidai could drive with slicks on the wet track. His Italian competitors could observe that last year in Mugello, and now the French Cup participants were remaining behind Oleksandr one by one...
The rain started again two laps before the finish, but Gaidai was so far ahead that even his spin on the last lap seemed like a circus trick to make the audience happy: nothing could take away his victory!
Tsunami RT's and Oleksandr Gaidai's triumph, gold in the overall classification, admiration of the viewers, and delight of the team... It was the stunning weekend, and we are pleased to recall it again and again!..
Gaidai managed to power past all his competitors in the Division B in Val de Vienne on Saturday, but Christophe Lapierre didn't like it. Lapierre stroke Oleksandr in the rear wheel some minutes before the finish, and our driver proceeded to the pit lane with the torn tire instead of the finish. Fortunately, the distance passed was enough for the qualification, but, sadly, not for the podium. That's why Gaidai was extremely careful during the Sunday race and took one more cup for bronze in the Division B from Val de Vienne.
The fourth round, the very middle of the racing season, was distinct from the nearest events in the calendar in everything that could be possible: event venue was Belgium, duration was 45 minutes, one race in the weekend, and as for the participants, the representatives of the four regional Porsche Cups – French, Italian, Asian and Scandinavian – were on the start of the Spa Francorchamps round. By the way, we have almost forgotten about one more difference: no points for PCCF classification were charged for the participation in that race. But the absent competitors were penalized with the loss of the points till the end of the season.
Of course, all the participants were abundantly showered with the rain, and the cloudy water spray was hanging over the track with the 37 cars on the start, and the French drivers proved their superiority over the Italian competitors having occupied two of the three podium steps (the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver became the silver medalist). Oleksandr Gaidai finished on the 11th place in the overall classification having left behind both Gianluca Giraudi and Enrico Fulgenzi.
The fifth round of the series was waiting for us the last weekend of the summer in Magny-Cours. Oleksandr Gaidai began to familiarize himself with the braking with the left foot at that moment. Understanding well that it could slow him down on the first races, Oleksandr intentionally sacrificed the second half of the season to train the new skill that would give him additional tenths of seconds afterwards.
There was of course a contact even here: on the Saturday race Oleksandr Gaidai after the collision with Egidio Perfetti finished only on the fourth position in the Division B. The most interesting fact is that even on Sunday the restless Egidio managed to collide with our driver, but that time it was Perfetti to turn around and Gaidai won the bronze.
And the next round in Navarre we spent... in Misano! Unfortunately, the coincidence of Porsche Carrera Cup Italy and France calendars made us to choose, and we made our choice in favor of the Italian race. It's a pity that it was Navarre where the series organizers decided to hold three races instead of two: the third was for the cancelled start in Ledenon.
And it came to the final, traditionally on Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. Oleksandr Gaidai missed the free practices and set up the car already during the qualification, but it didn't prevent him from winning the Saturday race in the Division B easily and elegantly. The fifth start on Paul Ricard brought the fifth victory!
The final race brought the Tsunami RT driver the silver podium and the bronze according to the results of the season in the Division B. At this, he missed three races of twelve!
O. Gaidai: "It was a tense and difficult season, and also an informative one, with the implementation of the new elements in my driving. To look back on the second part of the season, I intentionally sacrificed to change my style of driving; I would like to say that the things I can do well already, are another shoe to drop."
It's so pleasant to relive the brightest moments of the past season! But we expect the next season yet more. Porsche Carrera Cup France 2016 promises to be very interesting! And we look forward to it... and prepare ourselves!