Frustrating ADAC Formel Masters finale at Hockenheim for Ralph Boschung

B63 driver focuses on 2015

Despite flashes of potential, Ralph Boschung’s ADAC Formel Masters campaign ultimately came to a disappointing conclusion at Hockenheim last weekend (October 3-5) with just a sixth place to show for his efforts.The LOTUS driver initially bounced back strongly from a Sachsenring outing compromised by illness with an encouraging performance in free practice at the German Grand Prix venue on Friday.That afternoon’s qualifying session again allowed Ralph to display the sort of form that’s helped him secure eight podium finishes in as many meetings this season after winning a hotly contested battle with Tim Zimmermann and Igor Walilko to line-up fifth for Saturday’s opening contest.Indeed, their battle would continue throughout the race despite Hockenheim’s long back straight emphasising the top-speed deficit of the LOTUS car. Nevertheless, Ralph remained calm to eventually take sixth at the chequered flag.The 17-year-old once again found himself in close proximity to his Neuhauser Racing and JBR Motorsport counterparts in race two that afternoon, although this time their fierce duel resulted in contact. After twice being forced off track, Boschung firmly resisted Walilko’s subsequent attempt to pass, although the stewards later awarded him a drive-through penalty for the move, dropping him to 13th. Meanwhile, Zimmermann and Walilko were administered warnings for their earlier conduct.Unfortunately, the knock-on effect of this consigned Ralph to lining up outside the top-10 for Sunday’s season finale.However, any chances of storming through the field – a Boschung trademark – were soon neutralised when his rear axle suffered a major failure through the flat-out Parabolika curve on lap two. A mere passenger of his uncontrollable single-seater, Ralph was forced into an early retirement.Nonetheless, the B63 driver was quick to put a difficult end to the season firmly behind him and is now looking ahead to 2015.“Of course, it’s frustrating to leave Hockenheim without a better result,” admitted Boschung afterwards . “We’ve suffered with straight-line performance since Slovakia and this circuit highlighted our deficit through the speed traps, which made it incredibly tricky to attack and defend. This isn’t something limited to the engine, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact problem.“Practice was promising, yet unfortunately we dropped back in qualifying from where we expected to be. Race one went relatively smoothly, although I felt it was unfair to be penalised in the following race after [Tim] Zimmermann and [Igor] Walilko initially forced me off-track. Then, in Sunday’s race, it was quite scary when the rear snapped out on me and I was basically drifting at 220kph!“Overall, after looking back on my mistakes and mechanical failures I’ve suffered this season, I have no regrets. After all, the series remains a training ground.“However, I’m already focusing on 2015 and looking forward to coming back stronger than ever. I must say a huge thank you to the entire LOTUS squad, most notably my mechanic, Mario; my engineer, Philippe; and the team’s coach, Steven. Every one of them supported me tremendously.“I’d also like to extend my warmest thanks to my ever-faithful partners Petrol Energy, B63, Hublot, Avanthay&Partners, and Audi, who have supported me brilliantly throughout this season. It really means a lot.”ENDS

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