A successful weekend in Belgium for the Arctic Energy team
Arctic Energy Racing team in Belgium at the second stage of Ligier European Series on 7-8th of August was represented only by Nerses Isaakyan. His teammate Sergey Egorov could not take part in the race on the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. #SPAHEAT really took place under extreme degrees, inside the Ligier JS2R racing car during the race the temperature reached abnormal 68 degrees Celsius. During the qualifying session in the afternoon the dashboard reported engine oil overheating, so the driver had to do a cool down lap. It took the pilots some time to get used to the track itself, on which there were practically no races this year, which is why there was bad grip with the asphalt even with new set of Michelin tires.
The first qualification was won by the pilot of MV2S Racing team Viktor Shaytar (who showed the best time during the training session as well), Nerses Isaakyan set the third time. In the second qualifying session, Mathieu Martins from M Racing took first place, Nerses came third again.
“The best lap time is not so important in the race as the ability to maintain the overall pace and stability throughout the race,” told technical team director Povilas Jankavicius after not entirely successful qualification.
Nerses Isaakyan listened to his mentor and from the very beginning of the race maintained the correct pace. There was no task to immediately attack Shaytar, the main idea was to quickly overtake the opponent, who started from the second position, as well as to do the 95-second pit stop as clean as possible. This tactic paid off, in addition, many opponents were either delayed or received stop- and-go penalties. Isaakyan took the lead after the obligatory pitstop and managed to be quicker his closest rivals by 0.5-09 sec. in every lap. Our driver finishing first became the only JS2 R car not overlapped by JS P4 cars. An interesting fact should be noted: after the race, the Arctic Energy team #17 was given a stop and go penalty which was converted into 40 seconds for slowing down and stopping in the pit lane after the obligatory stop, but even this did not prevent the team from winning the race due to the huge lead.
The second race, unfortunately, was far from being successful. The start was pretty good, Nerses kept his third position for a long time, preparing to attack immediately after the pit stop. But a lap before the pit lane window (from the 27th to 34th minute), a technical problem with the electronics messed things up: the dashboard turned off completely, it was 5th gear and impossible to change gears, the radio turned off too. It was simply not possible to complete the race, which is why it did not work out to get championship points this time.
Members of the Arctic Energy team are still positive about this race weekend and are heading to the team's base in Toulouse, where they will prepare the car for the next round of the series at Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet, France on 27-28th of August.