GP2

Abu Dhabi: Racing Engineering race 1 report

Racing Engineering's Dani Clos fourth after a spectacular race Saturday's feature race finally brought the rewards of the hard work by the entire racing Engineering crew. Dani Clos had a great race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, ...

Racing Engineering's Dani Clos fourth after a spectacular race

Saturday's feature race finally brought the rewards of the hard work by the entire racing Engineering crew. Dani Clos had a great race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, increasing his chances to finish the championship in third overall. After yesterday's penalty, which meant the Spaniard dropped from second to eleventh on the grid, Dani took courage and had a race on the attack, recovering seven places to finish in fourth and less than a second away from the podium. Ho-Pin Tung, replacing the sick Racing Engineering driver Vietoris, had to retire after a mechanical problem.

A dry track and warm temperatures welcomed the GP2 field today for feature race, which exceptionally took place in the morning. The goals before this race were clearly set. While Dani qualifying in an excellent second position, the penalty applied after the session sent the young Spaniard back to eleventh position on the grid. This meant that the Racing Engineering driver would have to use every single lap of the feature race to try and make up positions in to reduce the damage and keep his chances of finishing third in the championship alive.

Ho-Pin, after struggling with traffic in yesterday's qualifying, had to start the race from the and his goal was clearly to make up as many positions as possible throughout the race.

Racing Engineering's Dani made a rocket start in which he gained four positions. Three laps later, he overtook another two cars and was already running in fifth position. At this point in the race, Dani was chased closely by Valsecchi, who passed the Spaniard just before the pit stop, which both entered for on the same lap. Reentering the track, Dani lost a position to Bird, who pitted three laps before and took advantage of these laps in free air to set very good lap times. Dani quickly closed in on Bird and the pair was making up positions once their competitors also came into the pits for their obligatory tyre change. They both passed Razia on lap 15 and with two more cars in front of them needing to pit, Dani was already in a fantastic sixth position. Dani continued chasing Bird very closely for the remainder of the race and became the centre of attention with his spectacular moves. Getting the last bit out of his tyres and the Dallara GP2 car. Dani had some very courageous closing laps, but Bird was good at defending his podium place and Dani had to settle for fourth, only 0.7 seconds shy of Bird and the podium.

Ho-Pin Tung, who was starting from the back of the grid, was aware of the speed of his Racing Engineering Dallara GP2 car, passed several cars at the start and needed to be careful to not get tangled in any of the various excursions off the track from other drivers. However, he started experiencing clutch problems when downshifting, and his race was brought to a premature end when, in twelfth position, he pitted with a damaged clutch. A stalled engine in combination with the damaged clutch meant the race for the Dutch Chinese driver was over and Ho-Pin's efforts to improve his grid position for Sunday's sprint race was not rewarded.

The reverse rule for Sunday's race, the last race of the 2010 GP2 season, results in Dani Clos starting from fifth on the grid, whilst Ho-Pin Tung will do so from the 21st postion. The race will take place tomorrow at 13:30 (10:30 CET) and is scheduled to consist of 22 laps.

Dani Clos: "I had a really good start and at the beginning of the race we were pushing hard, overtaking many cars, to get a good position. After the pit-stop we were jumped by Bird, who pitted three laps earlier and pushed in free air. We caught the guys in front and managed to overtake and create a gap. While fighting my way through the traffic, the strategy also included proper tyre management and we were able to finish just behind Bird, but not close enough to overtake him. This race finish feels like a victory to me. If I had started from my qualifying position, from second on the grid, things would have been much different. Nothing s over yet and tomorrow there is one more race where we will try to do the same thing all over again. We will push, trying to make the best race possible."

Ho-Pin Tung: "I had a very good start, but had to avoid some other drivers struggling in front of me. Avoiding the contact with spinning cars cost me some positions. I was able to make up for this but started to suffer from troubles with downshifting. When I came in for my pit-stop, I stalled due to the clutch being damaged. Having analyzed yesterday's qualifying, we saw that we didn't qualify where we could have. Hope was that today would go much better, but now the focus has to be on tomorrow's race."

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, President of Racing Engineering: "Fantastic race from Dani. I am very impressed as he started from eleventh position. The whole team worked well to prepare Dani a good car allowing him to do the job he did today. With hopefully 4 more points tomorrow, he will finish the championship in third position overall. Everyone did a great job during the pit stops and with the work on the cars. Now let's get ready for tomorrow's race."

-source: racing-engineering.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung , Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering