ENCOURAGING SEASON OPENER FOR DPR IN BAHRAIN The second of the two GP2 races at the Bahrain Grand Prix produced plenty of drama, resulting in mixed fortunes for DPR drivers Andy Soucek and Christian Bakkerud. A first lap incident put Bakkerud...
ENCOURAGING SEASON OPENER FOR DPR IN BAHRAIN
The second of the two GP2 races at the Bahrain Grand Prix produced plenty of drama, resulting in mixed fortunes for DPR drivers Andy Soucek and Christian Bakkerud. A first lap incident put Bakkerud out of the race, while Soucek benefited from the melee to finish in eighth place. Soucek started in 12th place, his finish position from yesterday's season-opening GP2 race, with Bakkerud once place behind in 13th. At the green flag, an incident between Andi Zuber and Lucas di Grassi caused a bottleneck of cars behind, with Bakkerud becoming an innocent victim and having to retire from the race.
Soucek was able to make his way through the tangled cars to be lying in fourth place at the end of the first lap. The DPR driver, in his first season of GP2 competition, maintained position for the next few laps, defending hard but struggling to match the pace of his rivals behind. He slipped back to ninth place over the course of the next few laps, recovered to eighth, and in a hard fought battle to stay in the top ten, he finished a creditable ninth place.
Soucek was pleased with his top ten finish, saying "Earlier in the weekend we had gearbox problems which ended up with us qualifying near the back of the grid. We sorted the problem for yesterday's race to finish 12th which I was pleased with, although I struggled with my tyres as we had an early pitstop. Today, I had a great start to be fourth, but my tyres went off very quickly and I had some oversteer which left me struggling to match the pace of the front runners. A top ten finish was a good effort for us at our first weekend."
Bakkerud said of his first GP2 weekend, "Qualifying was a bit of a disaster, but we recovered from this yesterday, finishing 13th, and leading at one point, so I was quite pleased. Today was a different story. We were hit from behind and the engine cut out, so my race was over before it had even started. It was a shame as I think we could have gained quite a few positions, as my team mate did. I have more experience than coming into the weekend, so all in all, it wasn't a complete disaster."
David Price, Team Principal, David Price Racing, added, "Taking into account all the factors of this weekend, starting from the back, moving to the middle by the end of yesterday and then progressing into the top ten today with Andy, it's been a fairly good weekend. I'm quite sure Christian would have been up there today as well as he finished beside Andy yesterday. Both of our drivers are new to the Series with limited experience and have to learn how to set up the car and qualify in such a short space of time, during the race weekend. Overall, it's been a very positive, productive Bahrain event."