News from the 2014 Season
Torn between a desire for the podium and banking points for the general ranking, safe with the knowledge that his main rivals were behind him, Florian chooses not to take any risks. (Perhaps a little too prudent nonetheless...)
INDIANAPOLIS : The rise in the overall rankings begins!
After his start with Cape Motorsports two weeks ago, Florian found his new team with a perfect car to fight at the front of the group and with an objective to trise to the top of the overall rankings. The deficit at the start of the season being 41 points, two big results became imperative.
The two days of practice trials comforted everybody because Florian was the only driver to finish in the first three positions out of the four sessions. With sunny weather, performance and regularity, everything that you would expect at the start of a double confrontation awaited the drivers.
The weather changed the situation in the qualifying. This didn't prevent Florian from hitting the heights again on a drying track lap on lap. At the end of the session, he established the best time and therefore pole position with almost 4 tenths advance on his runner and also gave himself the second best time of the session which could have placed him in pole for race 2 on the premise that the time wouldn't be improved on race 1.
Heavy showers and a wet track before the start of race 1 obliged for a start on rain tires. Florian held on to first place on the race line but committed an error at the first corner which forced him on to the grass. He came back into the race in 6th place. A little later, during the neutral period, the drivers at the back of the pack or with no objective in the general ranking announcing that the track was drying, passed by the stands to change to slick tires. This allowed them to put in a performance and found themselves at the from of the grid for race 2. At the restart, these drivers recovered back up to the front of the pack where Florian also gained back several places. However, the gamble paid off for the drivers with the newer tires who were driving 3 seconds a lap faster. Nevertheless, Florian crossed the line in 4th position with big points but in view of the particuar circumstances of this race, he had to be happy with a start from 8th position for race 2.
After a result taranished by an error denying him some extra points in race 1, Florian started on Saturday with the bit between his teeth. Thanks to a very good start and a very solid race, Florian climbed progressively to the front of the race. He caught up to the leader and without being able to overtake him, finished behind with just a small deficit of 3 tenths of a second over the line. « Starting off from 8th position, we had decided with the team and my coach to take away a lot of the aerodynamics to be more efficient on the straights in order to gain places. That made it complicated on the more technical parts of the course. I therefore never succeeded in finding the race leader's weakness who never made a mistake."
The unpredictable conditions of this weekend were made very complicated for the teams and their drivers. Florian and Cape Motorspor performed very well to cut the lead deficit in half (21 points to go) and took 7 poins advance on 3rd place with 8 races still to go.
Next race on the oval circuit of Indianapolis on the 24th May 2014 for the opener of the 500 Miles Indianapolis Indycar.
After the Winterfest, the regular season started with races 1 and 2 at Saint Petersberg the 29th and 30th March. No big changes in the pack, Florian's adversaries remain the same as a month earlier.
The two trial sessions give Florian the same position (4th place). The work of the Team didn't allow for Florian to compete among the quickest, nonetheless Florian obtained the best results of the 4 drivers in the team. Still missing 3 or 4 tenths of a second to find...
Qualification allowed for a similar result: Still 4 tenths slower than pole position and still the best placed of the team but this time it's 7th place on the grid for race 1, and 6th place for race 2. This isn't satisfying and Florian would have to battle to improve in the course of the next two races.
Saturday for race 1, it's hurricane like weather as only Florida knows as the circuit became completely flooded just before the start of the race and obliged the drivers to begin in very difficult conditions. Starting from 7th place, the visibility was practically zero. After a few laps, and short of benchmarks, Florian committed a near fatal error and spun over several white lines of the circuit but recuperates and continues from 12th position. Pulling his way progressively back up the ranking, he gets back up to 7th position at the finish.
After the rain, the good weather: Sunday will be hot and sunny for race 2 with a dry track this time. A super depart from Florian propulsed him into 4th place as early as the first bends then, on the turn, he edged into 3rd place and had to fight like a devil to consolidate this position until the end of the race. Largely in front of his teammates, he couldn't hope for better in view of the performances of his car.
The next meeting on the Barber circuit in Alabama should see Florian with more refined material to compete at the front... More videos
A very encouraging start of the season for Florian Latorre, in his new team. After the winter tests, this small pre-season championship - Winterfest, took place on two different circuits, first of all in Nola on the 21st and 22nd February then on the prestigious Barber circuit on the 25th and 26th February.
The first weekend took place in dry weather and despite several encouraging trials, it was of no importance to Florian, who, following on from engine problems just after the first free trial sessions, couldn't build anything up for the rest of the weekend. As the team lacked solutions, the three races were difficult with the only objective being to handle as best as possible to score, in spite of everything, a maximum number of points. By finishing 9th, 6th and 10th respectively, the most important thing was obtained, but the team needed to find a solution for the next step 3 days later.
After a motor change for the second meeting, Florian found his performance level again. Even if not everything is perfect, Florian was good enough for the podium. The qualifying allowed him to glean 3rd place on a dry track but the time was particularly threatening. The following morning for race 1, it's the rain that awaits the drivers, though this didn't bother Florian as he gained a place a few laps after the start to win his first podium of the season on just the second round. Race 2 on a dry track allowed him to get on the podium for the third round, though Florian finished race 3 in 5th place.
History will remember that Florian finished 4th in the overall ranking of this Winterfest 2014, showing some good things in his preparation and his performances, but there's still a lot of work for the team to do to get up to speed with the car and internal organisation. More video
After some private tests at the start of the winter allowing each driver to get their bearings in the team, Florian Latorre tarted to feel very much at ease with his entourage in the team. Brian BELARDI, owner and team manager are very confident about the capacity of Florian and gave him a very competent engineer along with their best mechanic.
The 9th and 10th December 2013, the first official tests took part in Barber with the CHRISFFIS MEMORIAL OPEN TEST. The weather wasn't ideal, so the team needed to prepare for a slippy surface which slowly became dryer as the day went on. For this reason, the first comparisons with his adversaries were difficult ; it's not possible to gain any first conclusions in these conditions but the work done helped the team to advance with improving the car before it left the garage for a complete revision for the pre-season.
Concerning Florian, he was present at the front of the qualifying at every opportunity whatever the conditions were and without using new tires. The performances were therefore very interesting and comforting for all of the team for the next Winterfest which will take place in February 2014.