May 22, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
The top three drivers from the Monaco Grand Prix have convened for the traditional post-race Press Conference. Today, we have race winner Joe Consiglio (Nordsjoen), runner-up Adam Rouse (Nordsjoen) and third placed Mark Wicks (Woods). Congratulations to you all for such a race on this historical track!

Q. Let's start from Joe. A fantastic race and a Nordsj??1-2. How was your race? Got any scary moments?

JC. Thanks, I'm really happy to win this one! It's been a dream of mine ever since I started sim-racing so it feels good. I think in many ways the race fell my way today. Getting pole was obviously crucial but getting to the first corner first was made relatively easy when Dave (Carr-Smith) hit problems. Adam also got held up a bit early on so I was able to stretch out a good 7 second lead. I knew once Adam was up to 2nd he would start to push so I drove a hard first stint to build then maintain a good gap to him. As I said we were both pushing quite hard so I guess it was only a matter of time before one of us made a mistake. Unluckily for Adam I think he picked up some damage around lap 15 and had to pit. From then it was just a case of keeping it out of the walls, looking after the engine and avoiding spinning backmarkers. Sounds simple but it was actually quite difficult at times.

My scariest moment came about a third of the way through the race. Roberto (Walter Conde) lost it at Mirabeau and was pretty much stranded there facing the wrong way. I came through but as you know that corner is pretty much blind so I saw him really late. I think it was probably pure luck I managed to avoid him and the wall, I'm still not sure how I got through unscathed! That was really the make or break moment of my race, after surviving that I knew I had a good chance to win.

Q. Finally a solid race, without engine gremlins, for you and Adam. Is development finally fixing the car's earlier woes?

JC. Yeah Adam, Will and myself have been working hard behind the scenes to understand why we've had so many engines let go. We think we've cracked it now so hopefully we'll be able to make the flag on a regular basis.

Q. Two more points gained on Adam, 5 gained on Janne. Are you accumulating a decisive lead for the championship already?

JC. I would say it's still quite early to talk about the championship. Adam and Janne are both excellent drivers and things are still wide open at this stage. I wouldn't be surprised if some other guys join the mix too so I'm just taking every race as it comes for now. I would say my main target is to pick up good points at each event, where that takes me in the final standings we'll wait and see.

Thank you Joe. Now, Adam.

Q. Once again, a race in which you provided entertainment worth subscription to GPVWC tv! An epic struggle with Janne Tanskanen, and some fine driving to bring home another podium. How was the race, and especially those crucial last 10 laps?

AR. Really enjoyable from start to finish. I had a bad start after my launch control decided not to work, from then I had to pass Chris Allen out of the tunnel, after that it was looking like a nice easy 1-2 but I just got a massive oversteer moment out of casino and took the wing off, so I switched to a 2 stopper and just had to fight back. I knew passing Janne would be tough but he was about 2 seconds off what I could do on newer tyres, eventually I got a good run at him up the hill, we touched, I span again but caught back up and managed to surprise him up the inside just before the tunnel, it wasnt as clean as it could have been but job done.

Q. You have shown some true pace, getting the fastest lap and being often the fastest driver on the track. However, you often find yourself having to come back from behind and this spoils your chances of victory. Is it due to problems with the car's feel in the opening stages, or just bad luck?

AR. I think its more down to overall lack of speed on my part, I just cannot get the feel with these cars as much as I would like. When you are racing guys like Joe and Janne who are already fast its tough, when you dont really like the way the car feels. The race at Charade for instance I was finally getting a nice feel, tail happy with a pointy front but back at Monaco it went back to the previous 3 races. This is my first season racing open wheelers for about 2 years and after racing touring cars even though it really shouldnt I still have touring habits such as using my gears incorrectly entering corners and trailing the brakes, I think over the next 5-6 races there should be improvement.

Q. Silverstone next - finally a track where GPVWC cars can deploy their full power and potential. Does that apply also to Adam Rouse?

AR. I love Silverstone as a spectacle and a track but I have never really been that fast around the place, I think the one decent race I have had was a wet race about 3 years back. I am looking forward to racing at a track where we can really open the throttle and lose some wing though.

And finally, some words from you, Mark.

Q. Consistency paid off again for you, Mark. You are one of the safest bets for points this season - how was your race?

MW. My race went very well, much better then expected after practice and qualifying that saw me outside the top 10. When you're starting that low down, especially at Monaco, you need a lot of luck and patience to make it higher. I was surprised I could keep the pace of all but the Nordsjoen's and Phillie when I was in clear air, so with a good strategy pitting me at the right times and just plugging away at clean consistent laps I rose up the listings and was close enough to Janne at the end to capitalise on his penultimate lap misfortune and take a satisfying podium. I only made one error in the 53 laps with a half-spin at Portier so I was happy with my performance and bringing it home in the points for the 5th time running, threading my Woods through those barriers was a joy today.

Q. Woods is shaping up to be a serious contender for P3 in the Constructors' Championship. You are steadily 4th, but lack of a stable teammate seems to affect point scoring. How do you see the situation in the team at this crucial stage of the season?

MW. Up to this stage it hasn't been that vital, as in the opening races many teams have had problems or lack of two drivers at some point, but from this point on it will become a major factor indeed. There's only so much I can do by myself in keeping teams with two regular drivers behind and if the situation doesn't resolve teams like Phoenix, Allen, Synergetic, PM etc will all close in despite my own consistency. I would love Woods to finish in the top 3, and but for loaning out our reserve driver Ryan to score points for rivals at the time we needed him in the Woods most of all, we could have been sitting abit more closer to Evans Blue. I myself do need a teammate that can push me, and help with car development and setups, it's pretty hard being left to do that alone with these cars. Dave has been great the couple of times he's appeared for the team and helped me out when he can and I hope that Juha can keep improving and stay motivated and that Woods can turn up and put two cars on the grid now for every race that remains, as we really need that.

Q. With development improving your vehicle, do you see yourself winning a race this season?

MW. That would be mighty mighty tough. With the team accumulating less development points then many of our rivals in the opening races due to basically being a one-car team several times, catching up and overtaking them will be hard. Also as other drivers adapt to this league more and newer drivers come in, winning, for anybody, will be harder and harder, as it is I see it for myself becoming more of a challenge (nay struggle) to score points let alone taste victory. It would be sweet and I'm sure many guys here wouldn't begrudge me a P1 even if I completely lucked into it, but unless the car can improve some more and unless I can find some more talent within myself and understanding of the car, then a victory doesn't look close on pace, but at some point this season maybe everything will click into place and I could find myself up there, here's hoping anyway!