FIRST TOP TEN FINISH FOR DPR THIS SEASON
David Price Racing (DPR) took its first top ten finish of the season at Istanbul, Turkey, today, with Brazilian Diego Nunes taking 10th in the GP2 Sprint race, and his team mate Giacomo Ricci following close behind in 11th place.
For today's Sprint distance Nunes lined up in 13th, after a strong finish to his Feature race yesterday. Ricci, having retired with a parts failure was further back in 23rd place. Both DPR drivers were ready for 23 laps of fast and furious racing, and when the green flag fell there was action from the start.
Eight cars were out the race by the end of the first lap, in a number of incidents, but Nunes and Ricci were able to avoid the tussles for track position and gain from others misfortunes, while also pushing hard. Dicing through the first sequence of corners Nunes emerged from the opening lap in ninth place. Ricci moved up six places to lie 17th.
The safety car made its first appearance while the track was cleared of stranded GP2 cars littered around the track and when the field returned to full speed racing there was further action, but the DPR drivers coped with the pressure and held position.
After ten laps of racing Nunes was lying in a points-paying eighth place and Ricci had moved up to 12th position. The second deployment of the safety car was caused by a pair of dogs straying on to the race track, and after the safety car had brought the field together and the dogs had been removed, the bunched up field returned to racing.
The final ten laps continued to produce plenty of fights up and down the grid. The DPR drivers held position at the restart, both defending hard, but an aggressive move by opening round race winner Alvero Parente dropped Nunes back to ninth. Under pressure from Kobayashi, Nunes had his mirrors full of a train of cars. Nunes struggled with tyres quickly losing their grip and dropped down the order, while team mate Ricci gained a place to lie behind him as the race reached its closing stages.
Nunes finally crossed the line in 10th place, his first top ten finish of the season, and Ricci followed him home in 11th position, his best finish so far.
David Price, Team Principal, David Price Racing, said after the race, "I'm pleased that Diego finished in the top ten. There was a chance for a points finish, and I think with a little more experience he'll be able to bag a top eight spot. I don't think he's far away from finishing in the points, as he's improving each weekend. Ricci also drove well today and moved up the grid, with a good pace. Our goal is to keep improving and we've achieved that this weekend."
The next round of GP2 racing action takes place at the famed Monaco street race, one of the most popular events of the calendar. In previous seasons GP2 has only held one race during this Formula One Grand Prix, and for the first time there will be both a Feature and Sprint race at this glamorous occasion in two weeks time.