Saturday wrap: FIA Motorsport Games

Sunday 30 October, 2022
Photos: SRO - FIA Motorsport Games
Australia enjoyed a mixed day of results at Circuit Paul Ricard in France on Saturday as the FIA Motorsport Games continued.
 
Our motorsport stars were in action across six disciplines throughout the day, with two wrapping up their weekends with medal races.
 
Brenton and Stephen Grove ended their GT Cup campaign in seventh after a luckless weekend continued.
 
Their Porsche was damaged in the second qualifying race. The pair were not to blame for the incident, however the damage meant they were unable to complete no more than one lap and left to start the medal race from the rear of the field.
 
Despite that significant disadvantage, both Brenton and Stephen drove a remarkable race, powering through the field to finish in seventh.
 
“It’s always tough starting at the back after the issue we had in race two with Brenton getting taken out,” Stephen said.
 
“We just had to let everyone settle – it’s pretty crazy back there. So once it had all settled, we were able to push on, get our tyre pressures right and start making some places back. So overall the result was very good.”
 
Brenton agreed, explaining the result was close to the best possible given what had happened earlier in the day.
 
“We’ve had quite a bit of bad luck this weekend, so it was quite good to just have a solid (main) race and chip away,” Brenton said.
 
“P7 is probably not what we came for, but it would be hard to beat the guys at the front, the Mercedes are very, very fast this weekend.”
 
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The result was even more positive for Esports representative Philippa Boquida who only narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth.
 
Boquida was consistently fast all weekend and started the final in sixth, before making her way through the field and only missing out on Australia’s first medal opportunity by just five seconds after the hour long race.
 
“I’m a little bit gutted that I couldn’t get to the podium,” Boquida said.
 
“I had three track limit warnings for about half the race, so I had to back off and relax for a large part of the race.
 
“There were some positives to it and there are still a few things I would work on but overall it went well.”

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Meanwhile, Touring Car (TCR) competitor Aaron Cameron will start Sunday’s qualifying race from the rear of the field after a last-minute engine change on his Peugeot.
 
After analysing his data, Cameron and his team discovered his car was 10km/h slower on the straight, necessitating the move.
 
His team were able to make the required fix and get him out for qualifying where he ended the session 13th quickest.
 
Despite having to start from the back of the grid on Sunday, Cameron was staying positive.
 
“We thought we fixed the issues yesterday of our straight line speed (in practice two) but it still was a long way off,” Cameron said.

"Everyone was just driving around me on the straights... so Team Clairet Sport did a pretty mega job actually - two hours, motor in, motor out and then we had qualifying and we're in the hunt.

"We'll see what we can do in the race tomorrow. For the first (qualifying) race we come off the back because we changed the engine, we have to start rear of grid.

"We should be able to push our way into the top ten, minimum. With the way these guys race we should be able to dodge a few cars and get right up there."

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Formula 4’s Costa Toparis also had his share of dramas on Saturday.

Qualifying in 10th, Toparis was then involved in a first lap incident in the qualifying race and lost his front wing. Despite the clear disadvantage, Toparis’ pace remained strong climbing as high as 7th.
 
However, the damage would ultimately impact the closing stages of his race and he ended the qualifying race in 12th.
 
The day would get worse for Toparis, who was handed two post-race penalties for on-track incidents, demoting him to 19th for tomorrow’s main race.

“It was a hard race that’s for sure and from lap one we had a bit of contact,” Toparis said.
 
“We lost a bit of front wing so that put us back and lost all balance for the car. We got up to P7 or P8 but after that it just became too hard to come forward with the broken wing.
 
“I believe our pace isn’t that bad, even it’s probably good compared to the guys in front of us.”
 
The final medal race for Formula 4 takes place on Sunday at 9.40am CET (7.40pm AEDT).

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In Karting Sprint Junior, Peter Bouzinelos will start tomorrow’s opening race from the rear of the grid after two DNFs cruelled his day.
 
Despite the disappointment, Bouzinelos was upbeat about his prospects on the final day of racing.
 
“I thought I was going to do better, but obviously we DNF’d both races,” Bouzinelos said.
 
“First race I came off by myself, which is my mistake. Second race I was prepared to come top five until a couple of laps in a guy in front of me spun and smashed (my kart).
 
“I’ll just try again, keep my head up. I’ll fight and let’s see where we end up tomorrow.”

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It was a day of redemption for Karting Sprint Senior representative Aiva Anagnostiadis. After qualifying at the rear of the field for today’s heats, Anagnostiadis fought hard to climb through the pack in each outing.
 
Anagnostiadis crossed the line in 13th outright after making numerous passes throughout the day on a track notoriously difficult to pass on.
 
“We made quite a lot of progress in speed and (making up) places, so I think we’re pretty happy overall,” Anagnostiadis said.
 
“There was a lot of moving around going on so I just went for the gaps. We have just been going forward and forward all day and that’s been the aim.”
 
Both karting competitors will compete for medals in the final day of racing on Sunday.
 
Meanwhile, GT Sprint competitor Matt Campbell hits the track for the first time on Sunday where one day of practice, qualifying and racing will determine the medal winner.
 
The event continues to be broadcast live in Australia on 7plus. Full replays and live streams are available on the 7plus app, or by clicking here.

Sunday's coverage begins at 7pm AEDT, with the Closing Ceremony marking the end of the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games at 5am AEDT on Monday.
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