Almost 1,100 kilometers away from home Molsberg, Wolfgang Kaufmann was able to run his historic Formula 2 March 782 BMW for the first time this season in a species-appropriate manner. In Paul Ricard, located in the mountains above Nice, the historic French Grand Prix was racing just a week before the Formula 1 World Championship.
In addition to a high-speed track, Kaufmann had a special treat in Paul Ricard: “We were finally able to drive in front of spectators again,” said the happy Formula 2 driver. "To experience this atmosphere with fans in the stands and especially in the paddock was incredibly intense and beautiful."
The first test turned out very promising, so that Kaufmann went confidently into qualifying. “We didn't have 40-50 starters like in England, but the quality in the field was unusually high,” said Kaufmann quickly. A safe fast lap without putting too much strain on the equipment brought "Piranha" Kaufmann a starting position in the front row.
Manfredo Rossi Di Montelena turned out to be the toughest opponent over the weekend. The Italian, a fixture in historic racing, started from pole position in the first race and also won the start. “But I was able to hang on to it immediately and kept the pressure high all the time,” said Kaufmann, explaining his tactics. “My setup worked from the first lap, the tires didn't deteriorate as much as they did with the competition. That's why I was always able to add more towards the end, while the lap times of the others went down. ”For laps, the duo Kaufmann / Rossi fought for the lead to the friends of the spectators, then Wolfgang Kaufmann was able to provoke the competitor to make a small mistake pass. In the last few laps the Westerwälder was able to work out a little lead and see the checkered flag as the winner.
“The emotions on the winner's podium were already very high,” admits Kaufmann. “We always had a fair fight, my opponent is a real sportsman and was the first to congratulate me immediately after the race. Plus the feedback from the fans on site, it's great to be able to experience it again! "
Race 2 on Sunday started from pole position for Kaufmann, but Rossi took the lead again. “He was able to accelerate me out of the way and initially pull out a small lead,” said Kaufmann, describing the first few meters. But Kaufmann doesn't have his nickname for nothing. "When everything was up to temperature, I really fired up and pulled myself up again." The following duel exceeded the action of the previous day and tore the fans from their seats. “The car ran perfectly and I kept attacking,” grinned Kaufmann. “Finally, I was able to use a gap and take the lead.” Thanks to another good division of the tires, victory number 2 in Paul Ricard was assured. “And this time they even played the entire national anthem. I had so much fun that I stole the microphone from the track announcer and first thanked the fans, an amazing weekend! ”.
The next round of the FIA Classic Formula 2 will take place at the end of August as part of the Jim Clark Revival in Hockenheim, then hopefully again with spectators in the stands. Before that, I had to go back to the beloved Eifel for the Oldtimer Grand Prix to be successful there with the Porsche Kremer Racing team.
Written by: Christian Freyer