Brand overcomes Viiliainen for Winter Cup DD2 win
DD2 at Valencia started and finished with British driver Ed Brand in the spotlight, and he won the Final after reeling Ville Viiliainen in and passing two laps from the end.
- Ed Brand (CRG) takes pole by a large margin
- Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) flawless in the heats
- Oriol Caballero Dalmau (CRG) the last man standing in the Prefinal
- Brand overcomes Ville Viiliainen (Heikki Vaisanen) in the rainy Final
In DD2 Ed Brand (CRG SPA) did a brilliant job in the Qualifying session. The former senior driver proved his DD2 skills immediately and set the pace with a clear best time of 56.356s, remarkably faster than his chasers. Those were the local heroes and team-mates Oriol Caballero Dalmau (CRG SPA) and Cristobal Garcia (CRG SPA) in 2nd and 3rd place. Garcia in particular left an outstanding impression as he was placed best Master in the grid. Meanwhile Switzerland’s Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) followed in 4th place ahead of Sam Smelt (Strawberry Racing) from the UK.
For the heats Ludi was in brilliant form. The Swiss driver finished the qualifying races with a clean record and took the top of the classification. But he had no walkover as Brand was always close to his heels. In the end Brand had be satisfied with 2nd place ahead of Caballero Dalmau, Dzianis Slavinski (Uniq Racing Team) from Belarus and Austria’s Constantin Schoell (Daems Racing). The best of the DD2 Masters proved to be Garcia again, finishing the heats in 8th place.
In the Prefinal the favourites fell like dominoes. First Brand had a bad start and was involved in a collision, pushing him to the back of the grid. Finally he caught up some positions but ended the race in 14th place only.
At the front Ludi was in control for a long time but then the triple heat winner visibly lost performance which caused him to drop back to 6th place in the end.
It was flawless drive from Caballero Dalmau. The local hero took the lead by half way and defended it up to the finish line ahead of the flying Finn Ville Viiliainen (Heikki Vaisanen) who had started the race from only 11th place. In 3rd position Gerard Cebrian Ariza (Jose Peraza Sampedro) finished the Prefinal with a strong final dash forcing Slavinski and Schoell into the chasers role.
The best Masters driver was Martin Pierce (Uniq Racing Team) who made his way up to a remarkable 8th place.
A rain shower made for new conditions for the Final and the ranking was shuffled dramatically. Prefinal winner Caballero Dalmau took the lead at first, but could not defend it and was pushed back to 13th place in the end. On the other hand, Viiliainen took to the slippery conditions like a duck to water. He headed away from the field metre by metre and already looked like a certain race winner.
But he did not reckon with Brand. The CRG driver was the quickest man on track and made his way back to the top. Close to the end he passed Viiliainen and celebrated victory ahead of the Finn. 3rd place went to Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) who was also the best Masters driver in the end. Kevin Ludi and Gerard Cebrian Ariza completed the top five of the final classification.