GP2

Catalunya: DPR race one report

HERCK 13TH FOR DPR IN BARCELONA DPR recorded one finish and one non-finish in the 2009 GP2 series today. Michael Herck completed the distance in his first GP2 event at Barcelona, finishing in 13th place. Team mate Giacomo Ricci was a first lap...

HERCK 13TH FOR DPR IN BARCELONA

DPR recorded one finish and one non-finish in the 2009 GP2 series today. Michael Herck completed the distance in his first GP2 event at Barcelona, finishing in 13th place. Team mate Giacomo Ricci was a first lap retirement following an incident at the start.

The Formula One supporting GP2 Series began its 2009 season at Circuit Catalunya, Barcelona with the first of twenty races. Herck and Ricci, racing with DPR this season have both prepared with a winter of GP2 Asia. Herck also ran in the two pre-season tests earlier this year.

After the first practice session on Friday morning the GP2 field had a 30 minutes qualifying session in the afternoon to set the grid for today's one and a quarter hour main race, which included one mandatory tyre change pitstop. An engine problem for Herck in qualifying resulted in the young Romanian driver not being able to complete any flying laps and left him starting from the back of the grid for the start of today's main race. The highly competitive qualifying session finished with Ricci in 23rd place for the first of the two races.

The start of the race was predictably fast and furious, with an unfortunate Ricci being caught up with one of the Durango cars which left him needing to pit with damage to the car. The damage proved extensive and the Italian driver was forced to retire from the race with less than a lap completed.

Herck was off the line well, but in avoiding the predictable first lap incidents dropped a couple of places. The DPR driver pitted from 22nd place, with the team bringing him in early for his tyre change stop. Unfortunately an errant wheel nut lengthened the stop, losing Herck valuable time. However he was quickly back up to speed and had a good pace as the race progressed. The race settled down in the mid section, with Herck making his way forwards until a safety car period which slowed the field. At the restart Herck held station, finally crossing the finishing line in 13th, a creditable effort from his last row start. The DPR driver will line up in this position for the start of tomorrow's sprint race, while Ricci will unfortunately have to start from the back.

Leon Price, Team Manager, DPR, concluded of the day, "Giacomo was unfortunate not to have been able to get into the race today. He improved throughout the two sessions yesterday, but it's always more difficult to get a clean start when you're near the back. I'm sure he'll bounce back tomorrow with renewed efforts to progress from his starting position.

"Michael drove well today, making up considerable ground over the course of the race, especially as he only had a handful of laps in qualifying and had not raced here last year. Despite us delaying him in the pitstop he got back into the race and acquitted himself well. Starting 13th tomorrow will give him a shot at a top ten finish."

-credit: dpr

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Michael Herck , Giacomo Ricci , Leon Price