GP2 ASIA POINTS FOR DPR IN BAHRAIN David Price Racing (DPR) celebrated their best performance since the opening round at the GP2 Series Bahrain event today with driver Diego Nunes collecting two championship points after finishing in seventh...
GP2 ASIA POINTS FOR DPR IN BAHRAIN
David Price Racing (DPR) celebrated their best performance since the opening round at the GP2 Series Bahrain event today with driver Diego Nunes collecting two championship points after finishing in seventh place and Armaan Ebrahim crossing the line in 13th position.
The team had made a strong start to the weekend with Nunes posting ninth quickest time in official qualifying to line up on the fifth row of the grid, his best performance of the Series so far. Ebrahim, after the short practice session and intense qualifying, lined up in 25th place.
The 34 lap race began with the field racing down to the first corner as red lights went out, with Nunes blasting off the line to lie in fifth place by the first corner. While others behind clashed, the young Brazilian kept his cool, and with the safety car deployed at the end of the opening lap, he maintained his position. On the second lap all the front running cars made their mandatory tyre change pitstop and with impressive work from the DPR crew, Nunes returned to the track as third of those that had stopped. Ebrahim had also made a strong start to move up to 17th by the end of the first lap. He also pitted with the safety car out, and with more great speed from the DPR professionals, he gained further places to be 11th of the cars that had made their stops, 13th on the track.
After three laps behind the safety car with Nunes lying in fifth place on the track and Ebrahim in 13th, the grid returned to green flag racing. A fierce battle at the front left Nunes dropping back a place shortly after the restart, and Ebrahim dropping down to 16th. Nunes pulled out a gap from seventh placed Pavlovic, while Ebrahim was also improving his pace and quickly moved back up to 15th. As the race settled the DPR drivers maintained position, although both were under intense challenges from rivals on track behind. Nunes had Bruno Senna lapping fastest of the field and starting to catch him. In the mid- pack Ebrahim was battling hard with Buurman ahead and Jelley behind, moving up to 13th at the midway point.
Both drivers maintained position in the second half of the race, with Ebrahim dropping a place in the latter stages but regaining it by the end and Nunes fighting hard with Senna. The two Brazilians both battled hard with Nunes finally losing out to drop back to seventh. In the closing stages he continually fought off an attacking Valsecchi while lying sixth, but forced to succumb on the final lap he finished seventh, to claim his first points of the Series.
David Price, Team Principal, DPR said of the race, "I'm delighted with a points finish today. It was a tough, hot race and both Diego and Armaan drove hard, maintaining strong pace and really showing just how much they have gained from the experience of GP2 Asia. Diego proved the importance of qualifying today and starting on the front row with the reverse grid procedure puts us in a strong position for another points finish."
Nunes added, "I'm really pleased to have scored my first points in GP2. We made a great start and that set us up for a strong race. The DPR boys also did a great job in the pitstop and that really helped. Pitting for tyres at the beginning added to the challenge, as the car became more difficult to handle as the tyres wore. I'm looking forward to starting at the front tomorrow."
Ebrahim concluded of his race, "I'm pleased to have made up so much ground over the course of the race. It was very tough in the heat and dust today, but I was very determined and having had more experience with the car I'm more confident now. I hope we can make further improvement tomorrow."