Molina Charges to Points Finish, While Mansell Claims First Superpole Place Greg Mansell ( ...
Molina Charges to Points Finish, While Mansell Claims First Superpole Place
Greg Mansell (#3):
Start Position: 12th Race Position: 11th
Miguel Molina (#4):
Start position: 15th Race Position: 9th
The opening race of the Silverstone weekend was hard for both of the Ultimate Motorsport drivers. Greg Mansell started ahead of Miguel Molina for the first time this season but the Spaniard was able to use his experience to move up into a points scoring position from a lowly 15th on the grid.
This morning Greg Mansell scored his best qualifying position finishing 6th in his group to move into the Superpole session for the first time. In the second qualifying group a red flag interrupted Miguel Molina's fastest lap and left the Spaniard outside the top six, and outside of the Superpole session, for the first time this year.
In the Superpole session Mansell came in at the end of his first lap to change his Michelin tyres and was soon back out on track, holding the top spot on the timing sheets for a short time. However as the more experienced drivers got into their stride the number three Ultimate Motorsport Dallara started to slip down the order. However Greg Mansell finished the 15-minute session within a second of the pole position time of Charles Pic.
In Round 8 Greg Mansell would line up in 12th on the grid, while his Spanish teammate would start in 15th.
A good start by both drivers with Greg Mansell able to hold onto his 12th place while Miguel Molina overtook two cars in the first sector to find himself right behind his teammate on Hangar Straight. The two Ultimate cars were side by side at Club, with Molina moving ahead of Mansell by the time they entered the complex for the first time.
For the next four laps the two orange Dallaras held station as Molina quickly caught Adrian Valles. He passed the Epsilon Euskadi car on lap 6 for 11th place and then closed the gap to 10th placed Marco Barba. Daniil Move had to visit the pits on lap 9 after a spin across the grass at Club, promoting Molina and the car ahead of him up a place. The Spaniard then made his move on lap 11 on the outside at Abbey, forcing Barba to defend, but this presented the Ultimate driver with the better line through Bridge and Miguel Molina moved up to 9th at Brooklands.
Meanwhile Greg Mansell was also closing on Adrian Valles and on lap 12 he tried a passing move on the inside at Stowe. Valles had to close the door to maintain his place and held on despite the extreme pressure Mansell applied through Vale and around Club. This battle raged for the next 10 laps and it wasn't until lap 22 that Mansell was able to move ahead of his rival with a great pass on the outside at Stowe. This moved Greg Mansell into 11th place and he soon closed the gap on Marco Barba to challenge for 10th and the final championship point.
Miguel Molina was just 0.4 seconds behind Charles Pic and looked like he was going to move up a further place as the race entered the final 10 minutes. However the French driver wasn't going to make it easy for the Spaniard and fought off several challenges before Pic was able to put the car of Bertrand Baguette between them with a pass on the penultimate lap of the race. Molina also closed up on the rear wing of Bertrand Baguette, but he ran out of time as the chequered flag was waved to end the first race of the Silverstone weekend.
Miguel Molina: "That was very difficult. I had a great start, overtaking two drivers and after that I knew I had to push. I overtook some drivers, the car was really good and we got some points. We'll have to see what happens tomorrow but I will try to do the same job as I did today and make up as many positions as I can. We missed the Superpole session which means we have a harder job to do but we must do that work for tomorrow."
Greg Mansell: "It was a good race overall. It is very easy to be hard on yourself but I think we might have gone the wrong way with the car, the tyre degradation was very bad on the rears, which we were surprised by. It's difficult out there, the track is changing all the time, so I was trying to consolidate the car and move up some places. I made some good moves, it was an exciting race but it was hard. Miguel got alongside me but there wasn't a battle. He was on new rubber; he was always going to get past me so for both of us I thought I might as well use him as a tow. I always try to do some exciting moves and I just went for the place on the outside of Valles at Stowe. The car that was underneath me for this race wasn't in the way it needs to be but we live and learn and we're making good progress, especially coming back from Hungary."
Colin Morgan (Team Manager): "It's a shame we didn't do a better job in qualifying to get Miguel into the Superpole session; I know he had the speed and he should've been there. However, we have to take responsibility for not managing it a little bit better. Failing that he started in a difficult position in the middle of the field, but he drove an excellent race and the 9th place he got was an excellent result when you consider where he started; a very good result for the team. It was excellent to see Greg into Superpole and I hope that is the first of many. He now knows what he has to do to move forward and I am sure we will build on that in all the other races from now on. He started from the middle of the field, which is a difficult place to be, but he did some good overtaking and drove a good, solid race. It's a shame he didn't get a little higher to get into the points, but it was still a very good job. We'll make one or two changes for tomorrow just to make the car a little bit more comfortable for both of them."."
Round 9 of the World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Championship will take place on Sunday 5 July, starting at 13:10 (BST).