DPR ENDURES TOUGH GERMAN GP2 WEEKEND David Price Racing (DPR) endured two tough races at the sixth of the ten events that will be contested in the 2008 GP2 Series. Michael Herck scored 17th place in the first race but was punted off the grid...
DPR ENDURES TOUGH GERMAN GP2 WEEKEND
David Price Racing (DPR) endured two tough races at the sixth of the ten events that will be contested in the 2008 GP2 Series. Michael Herck scored 17th place in the first race but was punted off the grid and unable to continue in the second, while Diego Nunes was the first to reach a wet track on dry tyres, sliding out of the first of the two races yesterday. He finished back down the order in 20th place in the second race after being spun round in the early stages.
The Feature race held yesterday afternoon began in the dry. The two DPR drivers started towards the back after neither were able to make the most of the highly competitive qualifying session. Nunes began in 21st place and Herck sat in 24th position for the start. It was the start which shaped the young Brazilian driver's race with Nunes being punted by Davide Valsecchi and the DPR car losing a nose in the incident, which forced Nunes to pit for a replacement.
Nunes, although turning consistently strong lap times, had lost so much ground from having to pit he was unable to make inroads into the field. Herck was lapping well, and in his third GP2 event, he was continuing to gain valuable experience of this F1 feeder series. The team brought Herck in for his pitstop on lap 13 and he quickly rejoined the track, however it was later found that he had been too quick, incurring a pitlane speed limit infringement, and a return to his DPR team for a stop and go penalty. This put the young driver back down the order and a tough race ahead.
The weather came into play in the closing stages of the race. With heavy rain falling six laps from the end halfway round the lap, Nunes was the unlucky driver to be the first to reach a rain soaked section of track. With slick tyres in the wet he stood little chance of keeping it on the track and was the first of four cars to slide off. Herck benefitted from waved yellows which were then shown at this section, slowing and able to pit, returning to the track to take the chequered flag in 17th place and to start the second race in this position.
Today's sprint race was a reversal of fortunes for the two DPR drivers. It was Herck that suffered a start line incident, with rival Luca Filippi cutting across the DPR car as the field moved off the grid, spearing into the side of Herck and punting him off the grid into the barriers. Nunes had a better start and was showing his pace, posting strong lap times as he climbed up the order, reaching 16th place before he was spun round by Kamui Kobayashi as he made a lunge on the Brazilian. While Kobayashi was able to continue on, finally finishing in 10th place, Nunes was less fortunate, resuming racing at the back of the field and finally finishing in 20th place.
David Price, Team Principal, DPR reflected on another disappointing weekend, "We know we need to be qualifying better as the incidents are so often a result of starting towards the back. However, both drivers were showing that they are learning from their GP2 experience and improving their pace, with Nunes running times comparable to the top six. We need these efforts to be reflected in results and we move on to Hungary with this goal."
The seventh of the ten GP2 Series race weekends takes place in Budapest, Hungary from 1 - 3 August.