After the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars season opener left Julian Fameliaris lingering at the bottom of the points table, the Lube-Net Chevrolet Corvette driver bounced back with two podium finishes at Phakisa Freeway this past weekend (May 14-15) which includes his maiden victory in the series.
In Friday’s latter practice sessions, Fameliaris posted a host of competitive times. But it was his stellar single-lap performance in Saturday morning’s qualifying sessions that saw him take his first pole position since joining the series in 2019. The youngest driver in the field was not done with his collection of firsts yet. In Race 1, he took a lights-to-flag victory ahead of reigning champion Mackie Adlem and stablemate Franco di Matteo. Thereby improving on his sole prior podium finish as runner-up, recorded at the 2020 season finale in the last race where he completed the full distance.
“It was an unbelievable moment, I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet” said Fameliaris. “We knew we had good pace, but even I was caught off guard with P1 on the grid. Right from the start, Mackie and Franco were involved in their battle. This allowed me to put in a couple of fast laps and build a bit of a gap while maximising the clean air ahead of me. This is honestly a special moment for me. Our first outing in this car was three rounds ago at this very circuit, so it is quite special to take that first win here.”
For Race 2, he lined up in seventh place on the reverse grid. After the front runners jostled for position in the opening laps, Fameliaris slotted into fourth place in the running order behind Di Matteo. Two of race leaders however made mistakes that allowed the pair to make their way to the front of the field with Fameliaris finishing the race as runner-up.
“It was a good strategy especially given that we had to look after the tyres. I saw what happened at the front of the field and both mistakes were caused by a lack of grip on the very abrasive track surface, so I was in a fortunate position not to have to push too hard. Of course, the win also plays into Franco’s hands on the points table, so I was certainly not going to get into any last-lap heroics. It was a solid day for us and we knew we needed one of these to get our campaign going in the right direction. It is now three consecutive podium finishes for us, we now just need to make sure that those finishes are also more consecutively. But we have every reason to be proud of this weekend and I would like to thank the Di Matteo Racing outfit for making this possible.
The next Mobil 1 V8 Supercars outing for Fameliaris will be on June 18-20 at Zwartkops Raceway while this coming weekend (May 21-22) will see him making his first 2021 appearance in the South African Endurance Series at East London.
Published by: Reynard Gelderblom
Picture Caption: Julian Fameliaris took his maiden Mobil 1 V8 Supercars win in Race 1.
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