DPR RACES HARD IN BAHRAIN GP2 SEASON OPENER David Price Racing (DPR) with drivers Andy Soucek and Christian Bakkerud opened their GP2 Series season with two strong finishes in the first race of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. Soucek and...
DPR RACES HARD IN BAHRAIN GP2 SEASON OPENER
David Price Racing (DPR) with drivers Andy Soucek and Christian Bakkerud opened their GP2 Series season with two strong finishes in the first race of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. Soucek and Bakkerud, both competing in their first GP2 race finished 12th and 13th respectively. The 33 lap race produced plenty of drama with fast and furious racing and both DPR drivers in the thick of the field from the opening lap. With both DPR drivers starting low on the grid, overtaking was to be the name of the game for the team. Soucek started from 25th place after gearbox issues in the practice sessions had limited his running in the lead up to the race and had left him with plenty of work to do for his first outing in the GP2 Series. Bakkerud lined up in 26th place beside his team mate for the start and was also keen to show his potential, after a disappointing start to his weekend.
The opening lap of the first of the two Bahrain races produced four retirements, enabling the DPR drivers to quickly make up ground. Soucek made an early mandatory pit stop on lap five and he rejoined the field in 18th place, while the team opted to take a different strategy with Bakkerud, giving him a longer first stint on his first set of tyres. This allowed Bakkerud to run up front by lap 12, with the young Dane leading the field and giving him the opportunity to make up further places. Bakkerud pitted on lap 19 to give up the lead and take on new rubber, returning to the track in 18th position.
Meanwhile Soucek had worked hard, running on a strong race pace to improve to 12th place. He improved a further place later in the race, but dropped back again to 12th, a position he maintained until the chequered flag. Bakkerud also made progress in the closing stages of the race to finish close behind his team mate in 13th. David Price, Principal, DPR, said of the first GP2 race this season,
"Both Andy and Christian did a good job for us in the race today, particularly with less than ideal starting spots. The drivers were on different strategies but both worked well and they were able to finish in the top half of the grid. We redeemed ourselves from the start of the weekend with an excellent strategy, although tyres were a big issue, as they were for everyone today. I think our results for this first race were more than we could have expected and I hope that we can continue to improve on this performance tomorrow."
The opening GP2 Series race of the 2007 season was won by Luca Filippi with Timo Glock in second place and Andi Zuber joining these two on the podium in third position.