HARTLEY GETS GOOD POINT FINISH IN ABU DHABI RACE 2
It was a good season end for Scuderia Coloni in Abu Dhabi. In the second race, the last for this Main Series season and for the GP2/08 car, the Italian team clinched a well deserved 6th place finish thanks to a very good race from Brendon Hartley.
Despite a very eventful start, with a few drivers cutting the track and Gonzalez spinning right in the middle of it, the kiwi driver managed to keep his position, behind Turvey and ahead of Ericsson.
Things remained like this until, on lap 5, Perez crashed into Bird forcing both out of the race. With Turvey in 6th and Hartley in P7, Brendon immediately started to put pressure on his British rival in order to pass him and get the point awarded by P6.
With Ericsson steadily losing ground behind the pair, Hartley could focus just on Turvey and he really sticked himself to the tail of the iSport car. Always quicker than his rival in Sector 2, Hartley's gap was never more than 0"7, and often smaller than that. The final showdown came on the penultimate lap, when Hartley tried to outbrake Turvey at Turn 6: clearly feeling the pressure, the brit missed the braking but the track layout allowed him to cut the chicane, coming back on track just in front of Hartley. Thanks to this Turvey managed to keep the position until the end, but after the race the Stewards decided to give him a penalty for cutting the track, handing Hartley a deserved point finish.
It was a less lucky race for James Jakes: the brit rookie was sent into a spin by another driver on lap 3, and some minutes after he was given a drive-through for jump start. Rejoining in P18 with his race compromised, from then on Jakes focused just on his driving and on gathering as much experience as possible. With a clear track in front of him he was able to post really interesting laptimes, lapping often in the low 1'51, times that would have been good for a race in the top 8.
Paolo Coloni: "I'm really happy for what we achieved this weekend. In the three days the cooperation between the team and the drivers has been great, and this can be clearly seen looking at how the performance improved day by day. I would like to praise Brendon because he not only drove a great race for a GP2 rookie, but he also managed to post really quick laptimes always respecting the track limits, I really appreciate that. With this 6th place he gets points at his second GP2 weekend, a really remarkable achievement.
I'm sorry for James because he was unlucky right from the start, but he must be happy for what he did. It was only his first GP2 Main Series weekend and if you look at the laptimes you can already see some stunning performances".
Brendon Hartley: "We again worked hard over night and made another step with both set-up and my driving. I am now feeling very comfortable in the car and learnt so much from completing 2 full races. My pace was again very good and I did put big pressure on Turvey all the race, so I'm happy that this was worth a point finish! I am very pleased with my performance in the race and felt I was one of the fastest on track. In the end of this amazing weekend I'd like to say again big thanks to Coloni and to my sponsors Siam Winery, Spy and Amazing Thailand".
James Jakes: "Today we had a much better pace in the race and I had a very good feeling with the car. It was a shame because i made a mistake and jumped the start and the Stewards gave me a drive through, but the car was really goog today in the race and I was able to get a good feeling with the Bridgestone tyres. Thanks again to Scuderia Coloni and all the team for their work this weekend: I look forward to continuing our work in the testing the following week".
-source: scuderia coloni