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Chattanooga Choo Choo | July 8th

It’s been several days since we closed the 2014 episode of the Zandvoort Masters. Driving wise it was an interesting weekend for Jules.
Getting his track time on a new circuit for him with a different F3 car and different tires gives him a broader base on which he can improve his driving ability with his RAWCAR in the F3 Euro series.
The actual race was live on Dutch national TV and it was as we say a Dutch party as far as the podium went, 1/Max 2/Jules 3/Steijn.
The race itself was pretty straight forward and not much more than a start, a shove, a pass and a merry go round to the finish.
The shove: wrong move by Jules, anticipating a faster start from his teammate he shoved him off the track. These incidents happen; that’s racing. Wet spots, first corner, first round. But still not cool.
Jules was given a shove as well at the circuit of Zandvoort, a shove off the podium. End of Dutch party. A slippery podium?

I am impressed with the journalistic approach of Allard Kallf, he has his facts in order and is unbiased in his reporting. Thanks Mr. Kalff.
Moscow is our next stop, this weekend.

See you and be cool. (Jules!)

Norisring | June 30th

Arrival at the Norisring:
Hyper ambivalent emotions, deciding to stay calm and under control.Jules finished his Blog report last week on the rally of the NSDAP at the
Norisring.
In 2014 the P stand for “parking-attendants”.  Maybe Hugo Boss can supply them with new vests.
It all started so wrong, (at the parking) to continue deteriorating into theutmost anti-climax of watching my boy race.
Feelings of elation can degrade into utter disappointed in a matter of seconds.
The relaxed atmosphere and exciting races in beautiful Belgian Spa promised us more improvement and pleasurable prospects.
Alas; We Crashed and crashed and crashed.
No more comments, see media and see you in Moscow
Ludwig

Spa is special | June 29th

Whenever and wherever we race, Spa is special as everyone claims it to be. For me it was a first, the circuit is really long and has long straights as well, and the three of us from VAR were joking about which magazines to read, the sights to be seen and to be sure to stay awake. All joking aside; Spa is not to be messed with, the circuit is tricky and very unpredictable in regard to ever changing weather conditions and track circumstances.

Speeds of around 250 km (with a good tow) are normal for us in the F3’s. Then there is the blind corner at eau rouge as you come up the hill at full throttle. (even in the rain, I kid you not!) Lots and lots to be said about

Spa.

I like the track and although I didn’t make the podium (YET!) I feel pretty ok about last weekend’s results. I specially feel good about our team result, thanks to Max and Gustavo. Max did an unprecedented 1, 1, 1, and Gus did a 6 a 3, and a 3. While I did a 9th and 8th.

Thanks to one of the 26 drivers I got pushed off the track, after I was able to gain a position, and I must say in a pretty crappy way. It happened in the second heat and got a nasty push in the ass of my car and I flew into the wall at high speed, all I could do is brace and pray. Luckily my stars where over me (and behind my eyes as well). It was a hard collision, somehow I didn’t roll or spin too much, but I did get some airtime which probably saved me from more hurt and harm.

My dad said the weekend was really worth watching from a spectators view, the races were really exciting, and of course I was involved myself; there were many battles for position, mostly fair and nobody injured. Although al lot of fingernails were teethclipped, as I was told from behind the pit wall, it all went pretty much in a fair and sporting way.

By the way I just got my final exam results and I am happy to be able to definitely close that door behind me and move on to the University of Lugano, where I will be starting a bachelor’s degree in Communication. This week I am training with Adrian and preparing for the Norisring race
coming up on this Saturday and Sunday. A street circuit in Nuremberg where believe it or not, it was the former Nazi party rally grounds; too bad it wasn’t the kind of rally I like.
See you soon and be cool.
Jules

hungry, hungaro, hungry | June 6th

Watching him fighting with himself, Jules was working his body and brain into a sweat this weekend.
The team sojourned in the humid air of Hungary, where the wind blows only occasionally. The fourth round of the Formula 3 Championship took place.
Last weekend was a weekend of contrasts. On some matters, Jules attained the best results of his Formula 3 career so far. Yet on other sides, he made mistakes that he has never made before. Let me elaborate.
Jules told me why he’s a better racer than a qualifier. That’s because he sometimes doesn’t have the focus that’s required to be able to drive as constant as is needed. His mind goes all over the place, off-track. you need to stay focussed on-track to be able to drive consistently in every section of the track, because that’s how the team can figure out where improvements could possibly be made. He’s not very good at this yet because qualifying requires a rigid mental concentration. It’s super mental. I think his coach needs to fit him with a mental harness.

Jules is better at racing: while racing, the momentum is so strong the focus comes automatically.
Yet this weekend Jules drove his best qualification so far. For the first race, he qualified 14th. The result of that race is the best result he has attained so far as well: he finished 6th. The second qualification wasn’t as good as the first, and even though he was driving well, Jules somehow got a penalty for going outside of the track limits, and sorry doesn’t cut it with the officials. So he did the requested drive-through penalty and lost about 6 places, but managed to make them  up – all of them – and finished 18th.

At the beginning of the last race, Jules made a mistake he never made before. Just as the red lights went on Jules suddenly got the jitters about taking off fast (it’s a difficult thing to do). Probably just because of this moment of hesitation, he stalled his engine. Everyone flew past him in a split second. So starting at the end of the grid, hopes weren’t up too high. Yet Jules still managed to drive from 25th to 15th in a race that was less long than normal. (The race was stopped preliminary because it suddenly started to rain.)

After all, Jules seems to learn quite fast. He got his second rookie podium moment. And the team boss speaks very fondly about him. He’s a good apprentice. About studying; Jules will know in a couple of weeks whether he has passed his exams yes or no. Quite exciting!

See you in Spa-Franchorchamps…