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Aug 24

Bird soars to GP2 Spa victory

Briton on top as title rivals crumble 

GP2 - Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME)Sam Bird has claimed a dominant victory as his title rivals fell away in dry but overcast conditions, easily dispatching the competition as he picked up his fourth win of the season in this afternoon’s feature race at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi.

The Englishman’s win was set up at the start, when a solid start from pole allowed him to lead James Calado, who made a faster getaway but was on the outside of Bird at La Source, Fabio Leimer, who was slow to get off the front row, and Rossi, who made a great start and picked up a spot when Ericsson went wide at the corner.

Behind them Jolyon Palmer also squeezed past Ericsson, who soon lost out to a fast charging Felipe Nasr at La Source, just before a safety car period for Daniel De Jong, who hit the wall at Eau Rouge: when the race went live Nasr tried to dive inside his teammate at La Source but the pair came together, with the Brazilian out on the spot and losing his chance to take the championship lead.

Meanwhile, Stefano Coletti had put his puncture blues from yesterday behind him to push up into the points: the Monegasque driver had a great start and was setting fast times to push up to P3 when he stopped on lap 12: a slow stop dropped him back down the order, and damage picked up when Dani Clos ran into his back out of Eau Rouge meant his hopes of extending his points lead were over.

With Bird well ahead of his rivals after a solid stop and just waiting for the last drivers to make their own pitstops, all eyes were on the fierce fight between Ericsson and Rossi: the American was fast everywhere, but the Swede had all the answers, easing home just over a second to the good, but seven seconds behind a cruising Bird when the chequered flag dropped. Fabio Leimer minimised the damage by coming home a quiet fourth, with Tom Dillmann and Julian Leal slotting home behind the Swiss driver. Stéphane Richelmi held off a late challenge from James Calado, who was undoubtedly disappointed with his slow stop but at least salvaged P8 and tomorrow’s pole position, with Hilmer duo Robin Frijns and Adrian Quaife Hobbs picking up the last points of the race.

With the title leaders failing to score there is no change at the top of the championship table, with Coletti still holding on from Nasr by 135 points to 129, while Leimer closes up on 122 points, one ahead of Bird, and Calado is in P5 on 94 points ahead of Ericsson on 82 ahead of tomorrow’s sprint race.

 

Spa-Francorchamps – Feature Race
 
Driver
Team
1.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
2.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
3.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
4.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
5.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
6.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
7.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
8.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
9.
Robin Frijns
Hilmer Motorsport
10.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Hilmer Motorsport
11.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
12.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
13.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
14.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
15.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
16.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
17.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
18.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
19.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
20.
Dani Clos
MP Motorsport
21.
Ricardo Teixeira
Trident Racing
22.
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
 
Not Classified
 
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
 
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
 
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
 
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
     
Fastest Lap: Tom Dillmann (RUSSIAN TIME) – 1:59.644 on lap 19

source: GP2 Series

Dams

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source: dams.fr

ART Grand Prix

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source: art-grandprix.com


Arden

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source: arden-motorsport.com

Racing Eng.

Fabio Leimer takes 4th and Julián Leal 6th for Racing Engineering today at Spa-Francorchamps.
 
The rain that had affected the Formula 1 qualifying had stopped as the GP2 cars lined up on the grid for the 25 lap Feature Race but there were still a lot of grey clouds and the air and track temperatures were much lower than yesterday’s qualifying at 19° and 22° respectively and the circuit was still damp and slippery. Both of the Racing Engineering cars started on the hard Pirelli compound.

As the lights went off Fabio Leimer lost a place to Calado as the cars braked into La Source but he was able to keep Ericsson behind to hold onto third place and at the end of the opening lap he was 1.8 seconds behind Calado and 0.5 seconds ahead of Rossi. Over the next three laps the gaps changed little and then on lap 4 De Jong had an accident at the top of Eau Rouge resulting in the Safety Car being deployed.

Racing resumed on lap 5 and Fabio was immediately pushing Calado hard and the young Swiss was challenging the ART car into Eau Rouge and using the slipstream Fabio was able to make the pass and move up to 2nd. The Racing Engineering car soon opened out a gap over Rossi who had gained a place when Calado pitted. On lap 8 Fabio was 3.5 seconds behind Bird and 2.5 seconds ahead of Rossi and on the following lap he took his mandatory pitstop fitting another set of hard Pirellis and resuming the track in 13th.

Fabio found himself delayed in traffic as he bought his tyres up to the correct temperature and he lost a place to Ericsson when the DAMS Car pitted. On lap 11 Fabio was 1.4 seconds behind Ericsson and 4.1 seconds ahead of Richelmi but he lost another place to Rossi following the Caterham car’s pitstop. With 10 laps to go Fabio was lying 11th with several cars ahead still to take their mandatory pitstops and he was starting to close in on a battling Ericsson and Rossi, the gap between the three cars was 1.8 seconds but the Racing Engineering car lost several seconds after making contact with Ghirelli who had yet to pit.

By lap 18 Fabio was lapping at the same speed as two cars ahead but the time he had lost in traffic meant that he was just less than four seconds behind in 5th with one car ahead still to pit. With the laps running out Fabio settled for 4th place at the finish to gain valuable points on his two main rivals Coletti and Nasr as both men finished outside the top ten.

Julián Leal made a good start moving up to 9th place despite contact with Berthon, he then lost a place to Frijns to be 10th at the end of the opening lap but following the Safety Car deployment he was able to pass the Hilmer Motorsport car to regain 9th position. By lap 8, as cars began to make their mandatory pitstops, the young Colombian was up to 5th, 1.6 seconds behind Rossi and 0.8 seconds ahead of Coletti.

The Racing Engineering car continued to gain places as the team opted for a late pitstop and on lap 14 he briefly lead the race before making his stop, resuming the track in 10th. By lap 20 he was up to 6th, just 1.4 seconds behind his Racing Engineering teammate and, although his lost a place to Dillmann on the penultimate lap, a late pitstop by Trummer meant that he crossed the finishing line in an excellent 6th place after a hard fought race.

Tomorrow’s Sprint Race will see Julián starting from 3rd on the grid and Fabio from 5th so both men will be looking to finish on the podium and score more points in the 2013 GP2 Championship.

Timetable:
Race 2: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:35 (GMT+2)  
 
Thomas Lassus, Race Engineer:
“Fabio was able to score some good points today, which was important for the championship. We missed a bit of pace at one stage of the race and lost some positions after the pit stop. But overall it was good that we scored the points for 4th. Julian was on a different strategy, so the two cars had different plans to follow. This worked quite well as Julian improved his pace before the pit stop and jumped some cars. We have a good set of tyres for Julian’s car tomorrow, so we hopefully we can get the first podium for Julian tomorrow.” 
 
 Fabio Leimer:
“The start was not so good today as my side of the track was still a bit damp while the other side was completely dry, so I had less traction. In turn 1 it became very tight as I was on the outside and Ericsson was actually already ahead, but I had better traction, because the exit of turn 1 was still quite wet, so I regained third position. After this I was managing my tyres and when there was the safety car, we decided to pit earlier. The second stint was OK, even though I had a slight crash with Ghirelli. I was lucky not to go off and be unable to finish the race. Therefore, I have to be happy I was able to finish in 4th as there wasn’t much missing and I would have been out of the race. In the end we made up points again in the championship and with a good race tomorrow we are in a position to make up even more points.” 

 Julián Leal:
“I had a very good start and passed several cars. Then it took me some time to get on the pace, so the first part of the race was a little bit difficult when I was fighting with Frijns. He overtook me, but I took back my position after the safety car period. After this I kept to the pace of the cars in front of me, tried to not make any mistakes and wait for the pit stop. The pit stop went well and our strategy was the correct one for today. I was able to overtake a lot of cars and even with softer tyres I had a good pace towards the end and kept P6.”

source: racing-engineering.com

Carlin
Carlin

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source: carlin.co.uk

Russian Time logo

Russian Time

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source:

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

Spa Francorchamps – GP2 Feature Race

Car #14 Sergio Canamasas – DNF
Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P3 – 15 points

Race distance:  174.976 km
Race length:   25 laps / 60 mins
Circuit Length:  7.004 km

Tyre use:
Alexander:
  P Zero Hard – pit to – P Zero Hard
Sergio: P Zero Soft – pit to – P Zero Hard

Weather: Air temp 21˚C / track temp 24˚C – Dry

It was a mixed day for Caterham Racing in the GP2 Feature Race with a podium and a DNF.

Alexander lined up on the inside of the third row of the grid, having achieved his best qualifying position of the season with Sergio serving his ten place grid penalty, starting from nineteenth.

Alexander drove a faultless race, making a pass for fourth at La Source on the first lap and maintaining his pace while looking after his tyres. The team performed the fastest pit stop of the day but with differing tyre strategies it was not until the penultimate lap of the race that the field fully settled into position, ensuring Alexander’s place on the podium.

Sergio’s luck did not improve, after making progress in the first few laps on the soft tyre he made a pit stop for the hard compound and began to have braking problems, which lead him to leave the track at turn twelve and ending his race.

Alexander Rossi “It is a brilliant feeling to be back on the podium and to score fifteen points for the team.  Now we have this result I want more, so I need to keep pushing for a win.

“It was a little hectic at the start of the race as the first corner was pretty wet but I made up one place and settled into a rhythm.

“When the safety car came out it gave me a chance to reflect on the first couple of laps and understand the reference points.

“Even though I got caught up behind Calado for a while the team did a great job and our pace, strategy and pit stop was really good, allowing me to jump Leimer.  I was very close to passing Ericsson but I had an engine temperature alarm sounding and did not want to risk any damage.

“It is great that we have carried over the speed from qualifying to the race and I feel that we have turned a corner and gained momentum.”

Sergio Canamasas “The car felt ok at the start of the race but after my pit stop I felt some issues with the brakes and on the exit of turn 12 I struggled to slow down and had the accident.
 
“I am not hurt but this is very disappointing, especially after I had good pace in qualifying yesterday.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Barwa Addax

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source: addaxteam.com

Rapax Team

Rapax

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source: rapaxteam.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

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source: tridentracing.it

Hilmer Motorsport logo
Hilmer Motorsport

coming soon

source:

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

coming soon

source: teamlazarus.it

MP Motorsport logo
MP Motorsport

coming soon

source:


Pirelli

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source: pirelli.com



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