GP2

Catalunya: Racing Engineering race one report

The first race of the 2009 GP2 Series was not as expected for Fat Burner Racing Engineering's drivers. Both Lucas Di Grassi and Dani Clos were unable to cross the finish line in Barcelona after suffering very different misfortunes. After showing...

The first race of the 2009 GP2 Series was not as expected for Fat Burner Racing Engineering's drivers. Both Lucas Di Grassi and Dani Clos were unable to cross the finish line in Barcelona after suffering very different misfortunes.

After showing a very good and competitive pace during the free practice and qualifying session on Friday, Lucas and Dani started the race from 2nd and 17th place respectively. Both had a clean start, but after the first corner Lucas had lost one place to Petrov, while in the second corner d'Ambrosio overtook him for third. Dani, on the other hand, was able to gain various positions and by the end of the second lap was already in 11th place.

While the Spanish rookie kept his cool and place despite the continuous attacks from the experienced Chandhok, Lucas was holding off Filippi's attempts to overtake him. When at the end of lap 14 Lucas did his compulsory pit stop, the Italian took over the Fat Burner Racing Engineering driver's position. Dani pitted just one lap after his teammate, as did Chandhok, and the Spaniard rejoined the race maintaining his position in front of his rival.

The Spanish rookie showed a very competitive form and managed to move up to 9th, until in lap 25 Maldonado overtook him, after various laps of intense battling for the position. However, Dani didn't give up so easily and tried to regain 9th place, until in lap 31 he slowed down dramatically due to a mechanical failure, which forced him to retire in the pits.

The disappointment of Dani's retirement had not yet settled in completely, when the Fat Burner Racing Engineering team had to witness the sudden end of Lucas' race the following lap. This was due to an unfortunate accident, where Parente's car landed on top of the Fat Burner Racing Engineering driver's Dallara GP2. Luckily, both drivers could walk away from the accident scene unharmed.

Fat Burner Racing Engineering will now analyze the reasons for the mechanical problem on Dani's car and prepare both cars for tomorrow's race. However, the Sunday race won't be an easy one for the Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers with Lucas starting from 18th and Dani from 20th position on the grid.

Lucas Di Grassi: This was a difficult race and things definitely didn't work out as planned. We need to improve the car for tomorrow's race and what see what we can do to get back to the pace we had before.

Dani Clos: I think my first laps were really good. I was able to overtake various drivers and like this make up positions. I am very happy with the car and feel comfortable. I think we have found a really good set up. I am also happy with the pit stop, which went really well. We were able to make it up to 9th position when Maldonado, who was very fast today, overtook me. It's a real shame about the failure on the engine safety system which happened without any previous warning. I think we could have finished in a very good position.

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, team's Principal: Now this was definitely not the start of the season we expected. Both our drivers were doing a great job and I was especially impressed by Dani's performance. This was his first race in this championship and he looked as if he never drove in any different category. It's a real shame a technical problem ended his race as he was on the way to finish in the points. While Dani felt great with his car, Lucas struggled much more and we have to look into this now in order to make the best out of tomorrow's sprint race.

-credit: racing-engineering.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering