Javier Villa drove the perfect race under very difficult conditions as he steered his Racing Engineering Dallara to 8th place in today's Feature race and as a result he will start tomorrow's Sprint race from pole position. The race...
Javier Villa drove the perfect race under very difficult conditions as he steered his Racing Engineering Dallara to 8th place in today's Feature race and as a result he will start tomorrow's Sprint race from pole position.
The race started with the cars all leaving the grid cleanly but Javi found himself boxed in at the first corner and he lost three places dropping to 15th, but as has become his trade mark this year the young Spaniard immediately looked to make up places and he was up to 14th by lap 2. By lap 4 the Racing Engineering car was locked in a battle for 11th with Bakkerud just ahead and Tung right on his tail. This soon became a fight for 10th as several drivers made early mandatory pit stops. The Racing Engineering team called their driver in after half a dozen laps and Javi quickly resumed and continued his quest for places.
Suddenly, on lap 12, there was chaos as Filippi's car speared off the track exiting the final corner, making hard contact with the barriers, the Super Nova car veered across the track shedding wheels and suspension parts. Three other cars were involved and Javier was very lucky as the errant car just missed the front of his car. The Safety Car was immediately deployed and stayed out for 5 laps as the track was cleared. At the restart Javier was right behind Zaugg and Glock with Bakkerud and Senna on his gearbox. Zaugg and Glock quickly passed Tung as Javi tried to follow suit.
Over the next 14 laps a huge battle developed between Zaugg, Tung and Javier with the South African appearing to be holding the other two up. Hirate soon closed in on Javi but the Racing Engineering driver refused to be intimidated and he kept the pressure on Tung. On lap 31 Tung tried to dive inside Zaugg and ran wide, Javi immediately grabbed another place to move up to 9th, Javi now moved onto Zaugg's gearbox looking for a way to gain the all-important 8th place. Suddenly 4th placed Pantano retired and Javi had gained the 8th spot he was looking for, so he now concentrated on keeping Tung at bay whilst still looking to pass Zaugg.
The final laps soon passed with Javi taking 8th place and pole position for tomorrow's race, remembering his previous incredible success rate when starting from the front row of the grid another podium or win is a real possibility. Once again Racing Engineering has given Javi the car he needs to do the job and he has repaid them with another mature and rapid drive.
Marcos Martinez faced an accumulation of bad luck yesterday. His free practice session went without any problems, improving his times with every lap as he became more and more familiar with the track and the car. However the qualifying session was a disappointment for the young Spaniard, on his second timed lap, Marcos set a good time in sectors 1 and 2, but when reaching corner 11 in the last sector and turning the steering wheel to the right, he unfortunately touched one of the switches, as the Hungaroring is a very bumpy track and the risk of touching this switch is obviously increased. Marcos was not able to reach a time within the 107% rule and therefore was not allowed by the stewards of the meeting to participate in today's race. Racing Engineering erroneously mentioned in yesterday's press release that this decision was taken by the GP2 Series organization, but wants to make it clear that it is very well understood that such a decision can only be taken by the Stewards of the Meeting. After the session the team studied the data and given Marcos previous sector times, there is no doubt that without this bad luck, the Spaniard would have had no problem at all being within the 107% rule.
Alfonso D'Orleans(team principal): "Once again the team has done an absolutely incredible job. Impeccable! Javi has once again has a fantastic race that allows him to start from pole position tomorrow. I couldn't be happier at the moment ."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "Eighth is not bad at all although I was looking forward to something better after qualifying. Actually this weekend I was aiming to be in the top five but the race was really hard, with a lot of incidents. Now we have to carefully prepare for tomorrow's race, another podium will be great!"