Gábor Tim, the reigning FIA Swift Cup Europe champion, awaited the third weekend of the championship with a 16-point-lead, which was organised at the Salzburgring in Austria the last weekend. He suffered a major set-back at the first race because of an accident, but he managed to pull back and he even won the third, closing race.
The Austrian track brought Tim a lot of success, several wins can be linked to his name. Even though the track itself is not too complicated, it is an old-fashioned asphalt with very few run-off areas and high-speed dangerous turns. Most of the tracks can be done at full-speed, thus the slipstream played an important role. Though Tim does not have a team of many people, he managed to get the second place int the qualifying.
“This weekend 21 new 1.4 turbo vehicles stood at the start and I must accept that at least ten pilots are able to fight for the first place and the win anytime. Especially on such a simpler track. During the first qualifying I managed to do well and even so I went back to the track once more, I immediately felt that I cannot perform better, and did not try make more out of it. The second place is perfect.” – said Tim about the qualifying.
Dominik Haselsteiner won the qualification, with whom Tim has been battling in 2020 to win the Championship. The qualy was so close, that the first eleven pilots were within 0.9 seconds.
Tim started from the second place, was overtaken a lap later when a car crashed into him in one of the turns. The car slowed down remarkably and he was overtaken by many drivers. He fell back from P3 to P16.
“Bendegúz Molnár overtook me at the end of the second round, but I was not really defending, because on this track we keep overtaking each other because of the slipstream. Attila Bucsi crashed into me in the next turn and hit my right front wheel in a bad position, as it was twisted because of the turning. The drive went away immediately and I could only fight to reach the finish-line. I became slower by three to four seconds and I had tyre wear. If there had been another round, then my race would have been over because of tyre failure. – explained Tim after the first race.
The crash was analysed after the race, but in the end young M1RA pilot was not sanctioned.
“I think it was not a regular overtaking, because I was in the apex and Attila was 10-15 meters behind me, he was not next to me. I do not know how he wanted to stop in the turn, but he came next to me and hit me. Actually, he was breaking on me and took the turn. However, it was not found to be against the rules. So, we closed this here and were focusing on finding spare parts for the car, because almost everything got twisted, bent and broken. The main thing is that the car should be fine for the second race, and we come from the 16th place into the top 8.” -said Tim about the tactics.
The six-time champion fulfilled the plan, he finished seventh in the second race and once Molnár was disqualified, he inherited the sixth place. This meant that because of the reversed grid (the first 8 turn), he got the third position.
“It sounds stupid, but the seventh place and the first row would have been better. In every lap I was trying to catch up on at least one opponent, but from my overtaking maneuvers from the last year, they knew where I would attack, so alternative solutions had to be used. I was basically attacking in every turn, where I could. The safety car at the end of the race came in handy for me, the field got a little closer, so I could catch further places.” said Tim about the race.
Tim started the third and last race from the third position. The race was interrupted by a red flag because of a crash in the first lap. He could take the lead after the restart in the second part of the race. There were five drivers competing for the first place, but Tim overwhelmed them all and won the race.
“After the new start I managed to come behind Baldi at the end of the second lap. I had to tire him a lot, before I could overtake him, while I also had to look behind, because many were at my heel. They were pushing it until the finish line, we were five together, I was trying to escape for the long straights, which worked more, or less. I had to defend until the last lap, but in the end I managed win in a hard, but fair battle.” – told Tim about his victory.
While Gábor Tim has been diligently collecting points in the Championship even at such a hard weekend, others failed to score points, dropped out of the race, or scored few points. This is the reason why Tim kept increased his leading position in the Championship and has a 25-points advantage.
The championship continues at the beginning of July on the track in city of Poznan in Poland.