May 29, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
Minutes after the end of an extremely entertaining British Grand Prix, the top three drivers are gathered to answer the questions of a popular voice in the GPVWC world, Mal McKee.

Today's guests are Dave Carr-Smith (1st, Woods Racing), Joe Consiglio (2nd, Nordsjoen Racing) and Mark Wicks (3rd, Woods Racing).

Q. Congrats on great race and superb and hard fought victory, Dave. Can you just talk us through the start and the first few laps then?

DCS: Thanks, the start of the race was nothing out of the ordinary thankfully. I'd set my gearing to ensure I would be first into turn one and it worked out perfectly. The first few laps were difficult waiting for the tyres to come up to temperature, I opted for a harder compound due to my one stop strategy. So really I just had to put my car in the right places to prevent Joe from getting by.

Q.And then he got past you after the first round of pitstops. Looked like he was on a different strategy. do you think that helped ensure your victory?

DCS: It made it easier, that's for sure, I think if we had been on the same strategy he would've jumped me in the pitstops, unless of course we came in on the same lap. There was no way I could've matched his pace if he got some clear around the time of the pitstops though.

Q. You mentioned the tyres coming up to temperature... did the grip drop off towards the end of your stints, and did that make it harder to fend off Joe?

DCS: Once the tyres were up to temperature the grip didn't really change much, towards the end it got a little bit slippery but nothing too drastic. I think I may have been too conservative on my tyre selection, I noticed that I only wore them down by around 25% after my first stint.

It was quite hard to defend against Joe whenever he was behind me as he seemed to run a softer compound of tyre which gave him much more grip in the turns.

Q. And speaking of which - that last stint, from when he exited the pits.. he caught up with you reasonably quickly, but he seemed to drop off for a while. After that he seemed to make a last ditch effort in the last three or four laps. How exciting did that make your race?

DCS: Honestly, far too exciting for my liking. I would've rather bring it down to the flag with a comfortable gap but he was just too fast.

I knew he'd catch me before the end of the race as the pace he had in the second stint was incredible. I decided to back the pace down a little before he made his final pitstop in order to preserve the engine, brakes and tyres just so I'd have something left to defend with when he caught me.

I think the reason he dropped back was due to a back marker on the pit straight, I cleared him in time but Joe caught him and had to go around the outside of turn one which gave me a lap or two to relax a little bit.

Q. Well, once again congrats on a great win, and thanks for an entertaining spectacle. Just a last question then - how do you feel about your future in the 2009 GPVWC season? Do you feel there's maybe a chance to finish in the Drivers' Championship there or thereabouts? Will you be challenging for the title, despite your late season entry?

DCS: I need to discuss with the team manager what the plans are for the remainder of the season, it'd be nice to compete in the remaining races so we'll have to see what comes of that.

As for the championship, it'll be difficult due to only competing in three out of seven races so far, but anything can happen.

Q. Congratulations on a splendid second place, Joe ?your fifth podium in seven races. How did the race start for you, and how did it progress until your first pit stop?

JC. Phew, I? exhausted, haha. It was a great race today, probably the best of my short rfactor career. First I just want to congratulate DCS on a brilliant win, he impressed me no end today, especially in that last stint. I think I actually lost the race in qualifying, getting pole was crucial to my strategy playing out but Dave did a great job and pipped me by a tenth.

My start was fine, very straight forward really. By about lap 4 I realised Dave was 1 stopping but no-matter how hard I tried I couldn? make it past. I came very close at one stage in amongst the backmarkers but he held the line well.

Q. How did your tyres fare coming towards the end of each stint? Do you feel a two-stop strategy was the best way to go, on reflection?

JC. Well I went for quite a soft compound as I was only running 17 lap stints. The tyres performed just as we expected, bit of drop off in the middle but then they? come back as the fuel decreased.

I think my 2 stop strategy would have been perfect if I had been all on my own all race. Like I said if I? nicked pole it could have been a different story today. But full credit to Dave because he qualified faster than me on harder tyres, then made them last for 25 laps!

Q. Were your hopes high coming up to your second stop? Did you feel you might have been able to overtake on the track?

JC. I knew I had to get the hammer down in my 2nd stint. It was probably the best stint I?e ever driven! Anyway it put me back in contention and after re-emerging from my 2nd stop I knew I had a chance to catch him again. Deep down though it was always gonna be tough to overtake, I was waiting for my opportunity but it never quite came.

Q. It was a great fight to watch when you caught up to Dave. Was it more exciting for you, or frustrating?

JC. I think it was quite exciting, maybe a tad bit frustrating but mostly exciting. It? pretty much the first time this year I?e been on the attack rather than defending, so it felt good actually. The problem I had was through sector 1, I found it was difficult to stay close to Dave through Copse, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel because you get understeer in those high speed corners when following another car. So I was never really close enough by the time we entered Hangar Straight to get in his slipstream and make a move.

Q. Dave suggested a backmarker might have made you ease off him for a while. What was going through your head at that point