GP2

Hockenheimring: Racing Engineering qualifying report

Dani Clos on P6 for Racing Engineering Spanish team Racing Engineering has had a day full of mixed emotions with the difficult conditions at the mythical Hockenheimring today. With free practice being held on a drying track, both Racing ...

Dani Clos on P6 for Racing Engineering

Spanish team Racing Engineering has had a day full of mixed emotions with the difficult conditions at the mythical Hockenheimring today. With free practice being held on a drying track, both Racing Engineering drivers showed their skills setting the fastest and third fastest time of the session. Just when qualifying was to start, heavy rains set in and turned the session into a lottery for the top positions on the starting grid of Hockenheim's feature race. The team brought all its efforts together in order to achieve a good result and Dani, as well as, were in top positions throughout most of the session. But problems with traffic and a session marked by many interruptions, including two red flags, prevented the boys from fulfilling their expectations. Spaniard Dani Clos set the sixth fastest time, and local hero Christian Vietoris, who had some problems with traffic, finished in fourteenth place.

In the morning free practice session on a drying track, both Racing Engineering boys had a fantastic session in which Dani Clos took the top spot on his second lap. Only at the very end of the session did Dani drop to P2, but fought back half a minute later, leaving no doubt about his dominance during the session. Team mate Christian Vietoris was on the fly all session as well, and finished it in a good third position.

For qualifying, some drivers had mounted slick tyres, hoping to take advantage of a drying track after the F1 session. But rain started to fall heavily again just five minutes into the session. Dani Clos set the fastest time after just two laps. His team mate Vietoris setting the seventh fastest time, although he spun on this flying lap. One lap later, Christian was on the top spot at his home track, with his Spanish team mate in second place. At that point a battle for pole started between Dani Clos and GP2 returnee Grosjean, with the Spaniard having to slow down during his best lap as Gonzalez spun off the track. Grosjean took the top spot, and Christian Vietoris moved into second. After completing seven flying laps, the Racing Engineering boys came into the pits for some minor adjustments on their cars to try and better their times for the rest of the session.

As they rejoined the track, Chilton spun and stopped on the main straight, causing the session to be red flagged. After the restart, Maldonado started his charge for pole, but the session was quickly stopped again because of an accident by Valsecchi. Qualifying was restarted with less than five minutes to go and there was a lot of traffic on the slightly drying track. Times dropped and the timing sheets saw several drivers taking provisional pole position. With only time for two more flying laps, Dani went wide on the first lap and although he did not have a perfect second lap, was able to climb back up to sixth position. Christian, on the other hand, struggled with traffic and didn't find enough space to improve his time and finished the session in fourteenth.

Tomorrow's feature race at the Hockenheimring is scheduled to take place at 15:40 CET.

Dani Clos: "Just when we were in the pit lane, it started to rain. The session started well and I was in P1. I was improving my lap times, but then I encountered traffic on track. This hampered us for some laps. After, there were many yellow flags and the session was then red flagged, which meant we needed to enter the pits. In the end, I had only two more laps. During the first one I went off track a bit, but was able to get back. On my second lap, I was able to improve my time, although it was not really a good lap. It was a complicated session and with all it's bad parts, but we were able to reduce the damage. Although under normal conditions, we have shown that we can be at the very top."

Christian Vietoris: "It's a pity as the qualifying session was not bad at all and we were always there, being very quick. We were always in the top 3, but then luck was not on our side. Towards the end, when the track got better, I didn't find the space to set a fast lap time, which was a pity as we were strong all session and also in free practice. My starting position is not what I hoped for, but we know we are fast and it's a long race tomorrow, where anything is possible."

Alfonso de Orlèans - Borbon, President of Racing Engineering: "After this morning's free practice session, it's a pity the results that we achieved in qualifying. But then again, in the rain everyone knows that anything can happen. Both Dani and Christian should be much higher up since they were in the top 5 during the whole session. Well done to everyone in the team and let's get ready for tomorrow."

-source: racing-engineering.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Christian Vietoris , Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering