It was an excellent team result for Racing Engineering in the GP2 Series Sprint Race held today at the Hungaroring. Giorgio Pantano and Javier Villa recovered from their mid-grid positions to finish fifth and sixth and score three points for the...
It was an excellent team result for Racing Engineering in the GP2 Series Sprint Race held today at the Hungaroring. Giorgio Pantano and Javier Villa recovered from their mid-grid positions to finish fifth and sixth and score three points for the team that is based in Sanlucar de Barrameda (Spain).
Starting from the 13th and 14th slots on the starting grid as a result of yesterday's Feature Race, both the Racing Engineering drivers made a good getaway, gaining places from the very first meters of the race. At the end of the first lap Javier was already eighth and right behind him was Giorgio, the two having passed a number of competitors during the first lap as well as taking advantage of the two 'holes' in the first rows left by D'Ambrosio and Chandhok, who didn't do the warm up lap.
On the third lap contact between Di Grassi and Conway, fighting for third position, delayed the Briton, who spun and was passed by, amongst others, Villa and Pantano, so they were now up to seventh and eight. The two Repsol and Telefonica backed cars were running together and closing in on the Japanese driver Yamamoto. At the beginning of the fifth lap, Javi went a little wide on the entry to the main straight so Giorgio went by and Zuber tried to do the same, but the Spaniard resisted perfectly in a spectacular move that saw, for a moment, the cars Pantano, Villa and Zuber running three abreast.
This interesting dice ended up in favour of the two Racing Engineering drivers, Giorgio was now seventh, just a second and a half behind Yamamoto, and Javi was in his slipstream while both were pulling away from Zuber. On lap 12, the two drivers for the Spanish team won another position after Di Grassi was handed a drive through penalty as a result of his early race incident with Conway, so Pantano moved up to sixth and into the point scoring zone.
The race settled down over the next laps, with the two Telefonica and Repsol-liveried Dallaras running in formation, always close to Yamamoto, albeit not quite quick enough to catch him whilst keeping Zuber and Kobayashi, who followed them, at bay. With four laps to go, the retirement of Maldonado caused by mechanical problems, meant that Giorgio and Javi gained another place, so they were now both in the top six, keeping, without difficulty, their fifth and sixth positions until the end of the 28 laps of the race. Pantano took the chequered flag fifth, scoring two points that allow him to stay in the lead of the Drivers Championship, and Villa was sixth, adding a point to his score and that of Racing Engineering which, together with Giorgio's two points, consolidates their second position in the Team Championship.
Today's great result, with the two drivers in the top six of a race that proved itself as a real challenge, shows once again the excellent preparation of the Spanish team, the only one that scored points with both cars, which allows the team to continue with their extraordinary 100% reliability record they have had since the beginning of the season. Now the GP2 Series get a short summer break to return in three weeks time with the much anticipated pair of races at Valencia's street circuit, where Racing Engineering hopes again to be amongst the best with its two drivers.
Thomas Couyotopoulo (sporting director): "Having both drivers finishing in the points was the best result possible for today keeping in mind their starting positions. They both made a good start and kept a good enough pace to make it to the points. For Giorgio these points are important after the unlucky incident in race 1 and we hope that Javi can continue scoring during the upcoming races as well."
Javier Villa (driver car 11): "I had a good start and managed to fight around 8th. Then we had a very good race rythm which improved even more towards the second half of the race. I am sure I could have finished fourth, but stayed in sixth."
Giorgio Pantano (driver car 12): "First of all I want to say thanks to Javi as he let me gain my place as he was quicker than me today. After what had happened yesterday we scored the maximum starting from 14th and scored two points."