SHANGHAI HIGHS AND LOWS FOR DPR DPR concluded the opening round of the 2008 GP2 Asia Series with a 12th and a retirement in the Sprint race at the Shanghai circuit in China. The second of the two races this weekend was a 23 lap lights to flag ...
SHANGHAI HIGHS AND LOWS FOR DPR
DPR concluded the opening round of the 2008 GP2 Asia Series with a 12th and a retirement in the Sprint race at the Shanghai circuit in China. The second of the two races this weekend was a 23 lap lights to flag distance, with DPR debuting Yuhi Sekiguchi. After a retirement in yesterday's Feature race the Japanese driver bounced back to finish in 12th position. It was a reversal of fortunes for DPR regular driver Michael Herck, who finished 15th in the Feature race but had a last lap off track excursion which ended his race just a few corners before the chequered flag, and a 16th place classification.
Herck lined up in 15th place for the start of the Sprint race, while Sekiguchi was further back in 23rd position, having incurred a five place grid penalty for his part in the incident with Filippi which ended his race prematurely yesterday. Both DPR drivers made clean starts, with Sekiguchi making up five positions after a first lap incident ahead ended with two cars pitting for repairs. Herck, caught up by the incident, dropped back to 16th place.
On the fourth lap Herck ran wide and was overtaken by two cars including Sekiguchi, so that the Japanese DPR pilot was running in 17th place and Herck in 19th. A few laps later Sekiguchi passed his adversary Filippi to claim another place, further benefiting from Nelson Philippe pitting. Herck also claimed another place from this, with the Monaco driver sitting in 16th, and Sekiguchi in 15th ahead. With Kobayashi and Petrov dropping out the duo improved their positions to 13th and 14th. Razia then fell out of the race to benefit both drivers, but Philippe was able to scrape past Herck to leave him in 14th on the penultimate lap. Sekiguchi passed the chequered flag in 12th place, a commendable effort from 23rd on the grid at the start. Herck, however, ended up classified in 16th place after running wide on the last lap, spearing across the track and narrowly avoiding the barriers.
David Price, Team Principal, summed up today's race saying, "Yuhi had a good run today and showed the potential he has for a top ten finish, but having started at the back it was never going to be easy for him in this race. Michael was also running well for much of the race and continues to show improvement in pace. It was one finish and one retirement each this weekend. We're pleased to have had good reliability throughout the weekend; we just need to get both cars to the finish next time out."
DPR turn their attentions to the main GP2 Series this week. Wind tunnel testing for the team this week precedes an official test session at Jerez in Spain the following week. The GP2 Asia Series continues in Dubai, UAE from 5 - 7 December.