Kristoffer Holm new World Champion despite Locksey's win
An afternoon was to become an evening and a driver was to become the champion, would it be four time champion Kristoffer Holm in the Red Bull or would it be Kris Locksey in the Ferrari who were 12 laps short from taking his first ever title last year at this very same place, the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With Locksey 2nd on the grid and Holm in 4th we were set for another very exciting championship decider where just 9 points separated the duo.
Peter Bohlin had taken pole and seemed to get away nicely but the Ferraris behind him out-accelerated him down to Turn 1 where Locksey took the lead ahead of teammate Adrian Holm with Bohlin and Kristoffer Holm still left in 4th which meant he had to make up positions to not let the championship slip away from him. Bohlin seemed quite aware of this and quickly let his colleague by into Turn 2, right behind Holm German Markus Walter could use the situation to make up a position.
The long back straights would give some good overtaking possibilities and with the field tightly packed on the first lap we got to see much action. Kristoffer Holm got a good tow on his brother and could make his way past in the braking for the tight chicane, Adrian tried to take the position back on the following straight but braked to late and went wide. The battle for 4th was even more intense with Bohlin eager to take back the lost position to Walter while Jonas Andersson was lurking behind, Walter however managed to keep the place despite having Bohlin on his left side and Andersson on his right at the end of the straight.
At the back of the field Mattias holkedahl made the best moving from 12th to 8th. Come-backing Ainis Noritis nearly caused chaos in the Turn 12-13 chicane when he lost control of his Lotus but both Erki Kaseväli and Rickard Widén was able to avoid him with slightest of margins. At the end of lap 1 the running order was Locksey, K. Holm, A. Holm, Walter, Bohlin, Andersson, Ekroth, Holkedahl, Olofsson, Brevitz, Karlsson, Palmre, Widén, Kaseväli and Noritis.
The first retirement came as early as lap 2 when Erki Kaseväli went wide out of Turn 3 and on the dusty run off the rear slipped and the car went across the track and into the armco ending the day for the Estonian. Holkedahl was next man to park it as he lost control in the hotel section and smashed the car towards the barriers.
Locksey now had started to build a gap towards the rest and K. Holm was safely running in second seemingly satisfied with that position knowing it would give him the title. Behind them the cars started to spread out and the toughest fights was still for 4th with Bohlin trying his best to catch the Williams in front, on lap 5 Walter got very deep into the Turn 8-9 chicane and the Italian could get a much better exit and quickly closed in the gap, Walter opted for the inside and Bohlin had to go on the outside, they were side by side through Turn 11 but as the track turned the other way Bohlin had the better line into the hicane forcing Walter to cease the position. On the same lap Kalle Palmre moved up a position as Anders Karlsson went wide in Turn 17.
On lap 9 it was Jonas Andersson's turn to get a better run onto the second long straight allowing him a shot at Walter's Williams. This team the German braked a bit to late and run wide allowing Andersson to move up a place. Four laps later Walter spun his car around under the hotel which made him lose another position, this time to Jörgen Ekroth.
The first round of stops started to take place on lap 17 when people on a likely two stop strategy dived into the pit, within a few laps half the field had been in to fit new rubber. Among them was Noritis, Karlsson, Andersson, Palmre, Ekroth, Walter and A. Holm. The one's who had planned for a single stop waited a bit longer but after everyone had pitted one time the order was Locksey in a clear lead, Kristoffer Holm in second under pressure from his brother directly behind. Andersson had overtaken Bohlin during the stops and behind them Walter was still in 6th but now chased by Ekroth close behind. The back had stayed the same with Olofsson in 8th followed by Brevitz, Palmre, Karlsson, Widén and Noritis.
On lap 28 Widén's race ended with a bang as he seemed to lose the steering and accelerated straight into the wall but luckily he could step out of the car without injuries. The hardest battles still was between the Holm brothers for 2nd and Walter and Ekroth for 6th although the chasers didn't get close enough to try something. This until lap 35 when Ekroth saw a gap in the braking for Turn 11 when he made a move down the inside, but a misjudgment from both sides meant that they collided as Ekroth carried too much speed to be able to turn in while Walter simply turned in without noticing the Renault, fortunately both could keep going without major damage.
We now had approached the second pit window and Andersson pitted from 4th on lap 37 thus handing the position to Bohlin. As Joniño rejoined the track he was also passed by Markus Walter but that place he could quickly take back on the following straights. After the the last scheduled stops had taken place the positions were Locksey, K. Holm, Bohlin, A. Holm, Andersson, Walter, Ekroth, Olofsson, Brevitz, Palmre, Karlsson, Noritis.
Adrian Holm had rejoined a few seconds behind Bohlin and with fresher tyres he quickly made up the the time. On lap 43 Holm also overtook the Italian down the long straight, Bohlin tried to fight back down to the following corner but out-braked himself. This was now the only ongoing fight as the rest of the field was heavily spread. After a desperate and failed attempt on lap 39 Bohlin could finally pull off a move down to Turn 11 on lap 53. The race was far from over though as Bohlin went wide in the penultimate corner allowing Holm to move up on the inside of the last corner which they took side by side, Bohlin then got a bit to deep into Turn 1 and Holm took the position back. It still wasn't over as both guys continued to push and with half a lap from the flag Holm's Ferrari engine went up in a huge plume of flames and smoke.
Kris Locksey drove a fantastic race all alone from start to finish taking the chequered flag some 40 seonds ahead of Kristoffer Holm who was just cruising home to secure his fifth drivers title. Bohlin took 3rd just ahead of Andersson in 4th. Walter was 5th followed by Ekroth, A. Holm, Olofsson, Brevitz, Palmre, Karlsson and Noritis in last place among the finishers.
As already mentioned the result means Kristoffer Holm is the new world champion winning it by a single point ahead of race winner Locksey with Red Bull Racing already crowned constructors champions back in Brazil.
This marks the end of the racing season and now the much more important silly season take over so there is no time for hibernating, make sure you follow which driver who will end up where and the ever going devlopment work towards the 2012 season.
Published 2011-11-27 by Jonas Andersson | Edit