DPR PERSEVERES IN FIRST OF TWO BARCELONA GP2 With the GP2 cars of Christian Bakkerud and Andy Soucek today lined up on the grid for the third race of the 2007 GP2 Series in Barcelona, Spain. The 38 lap event produced an exciting race with both...
DPR PERSEVERES IN FIRST OF TWO BARCELONA GP2
With the GP2 cars of Christian Bakkerud and Andy Soucek today lined up on the grid for the third race of the 2007 GP2 Series in Barcelona, Spain. The 38 lap event produced an exciting race with both DPR drivers producing strong results, Bakkerud finishing in 12th place and Soucek in 14th position. Earlier in the weekend the practice session had seen Soucek 12th fastest and Bakkerud 23rd. In qualifying Soucek was 22nd fastest, but due to a yellow flag infraction dropped to 25th place for the start. Bakkerud was 24th quickest and lined up in 23rd spot, gaining from other drivers and grid place penalties.
The first start of the race had to be aborted due to one of the 26 cars on the grid stalling just prior to the off. After an additional tour of the circuit, the cars were underway and racing down to the first corner. The opening lap featured a number of incidents which Soucek and Bakkerud avoided being caught up in and both were able to gain position. After the first lap Bakkerud was lying 14th and Soucek two places behind in 16th, and with the safety car deployed to remove stranded cars from the incidents, both held position. Mandatory pit stops allowed after the second lap saw many cars diving into the pits including Bakkerud. The DPR crew gave the Dane a quick change of tyres and he was quickly back out on track. The team opted to leave Soucek out on track in efforts to gain advantage from a later tyre change. After three laps the safety car pitted and the field of GP2 cars were back to full speed racing. The DPR drivers settled into the race with Soucek pitting after 12 laps for new tyres. By half distance Bakkerud was lying in 14th place with team mate Soucek just behind in 15th. Both drove well and were able to improve as the race reached its closing stages. Bakkerud finished 12th and Soucek took the chequered flag close behind in 14th place.
David Price, Principal, DPR, said of the team's performance, "We're pleased to have finished today's race with two cars unscathed and us proving that we have the reliability that's needed. We'll be starting from the middle of the grid for tomorrow's race, so we'll be aiming to move into the points from there. "We opted to leave Andy out so that he could have new tyres later in the race. It was a bit of a gamble, but we weren't able to get the most from the tyres, so didn't gain as much as we had hoped. Christian drove well today, particularly as he was suffering from a jarred back which was extremely painful for him the whole race. He should be fine for tomorrow's race and we'll be looking for two top ten finishes to make further progress this season."
Bruno Senna took his first GP2 victory, with Timo Glock in second place and Lucas di Grassi crossing the line third. The second of the weekend's two races, a 26 lap sprint distance, takes place tomorrow with the DPR drivers starting from today's finish positions.