Thiago Canola – Winner
Q1: So you hit that winning streak in the end and secured the silver medal in the championship with it. How does that feel?
TC: It feels great for sure. The fact that I missed the Avus race and got disconnected from Zandvoort because of computer issues made everything more difficult for me this season. But in the end, the most important is to have a good time.
Q2: You looked fierce to get ahead of Grant on the first lap. That resulted in somewhat of a failed move that even saw you fall back behind John Thim. Was stress playing you tricks in that first lap?
TC: I had a good start this time compared to Zandvoort. Got a good draft and saw the opportunity. I knew I would have pace to stay ahead or fight head to head with Grant. We played a good show at the chicane: he knew where to put his car and I knew when to let it go. After the second chicane I wasn’t sure about Thim’s intentions, so I ended up going too wide over the grass and he took the position. But no stress at all!! Just having fun!!!
Q3: Once Grant spun out in Nordkurve, you had a lonely race. Was it not hard to keep focussed?
TC: I was going fast but not taking risks. I knew Grant would push to catch up and he did. The gap dropped from 10s to 6.3s and then I started to increase the pace again to keep the distance when his engine blew up. It was lonely and I wanted to keep it that way.
Brian Janik – Silver Medal
Q1: Well, one race since Zandvoort and here you are back on the podium. And one better even. What is the secret?
BJ: Not sure? After nearly hangin’ it up and selling all my gear back in January, I decided to just relax and enjoy the driving, and suddenly some good results too.
Q2: That battle with Martin was something else. How did you avoid cardiac failure under such pressure?
BJ: I know right? So much for being relaxed… It was even more intense earlier when John Thim was part of the fight. HUGE respect for the speed of these 2 guys. I was confident I could stick with them on this day, and the draft on the long straights only kept us closer. I fully expected Martin to re-pass me at some point, but he must have made a small mistake a couple laps from the end, which gave me a chance to breathe to the finish.
Q3: Looking at how competitive you are in these cars, are you sorry to not have raced them in the early season?
BJ: Ah, maybe it’s less about me, and just the ebb and flow of things. We’ve seen lots of fresh names dropping in some really competitive drives in these equal cars!
The full season would’ve been ideal, same for others that have missed rounds. But I’m afraid there was no answer for Grant this year. Not sure what’s going on there? But, perhaps he should give the Tour de France a shot before it wears off!?!
Martin Lacina – Bronze Medal
Q1: Bronze medal in only your second race in these cars amid stiff competition. Congrats. How do you manage to feel so comfortable in these cars so quickly?
ML: Really don’t know, but generally HSO mods suit me very well. Each mod has a different behaviour for the cars, but I can adapt to each car’s characteristics very swiftly. Only problem is to switch from one mod to another. Over the last couple of seasons, there were a lot of races in the racing seasons and almost each week we had to switch our driving style from one car to another. This season, there are less races however, leaving more time for me to adapt.
Q2: You had quiet a scrape with Grant, who absolutely ruled these series from the get go. Yet, the footage clearly shows that you braked later than Grant at almost every corner, backing-up your reputation of the absolute latest braker at HSO. What is the secret to that late braking?
ML: It’s my driving style to brake as late as possible. But in the mostly historical mods that I have tried lately, I find that braking that late with these older cars is less important than with newer racing cars such as F1 1991 e.g. It is more important to brake more smoothly to maintain as much apex speed as possible. I think that is the key for all the historical cars. Very good example is Grant right now. Perhaps I was braking later than him, but he was smoother and overall faster. And sometimes a lot. Main disadvantage of my driving style is that I lock up the tyres a lot so, in the middle of the race, I always have issues with flat-spots.
Q3: You diced with both Brian Janik and John Thim for a good part of the race. Who was the hardest of those to race?
ML: I cannot say that one of them is harder. They both behave on track similarly. Both are very careful, so racing with them is really fun and I enjoyed this last race a lot.