MAGNY COURS SHOWS POTENTIAL FOR DPR Diego Nunes and Michael Herck returned to the Magny Cours track in France today, racing with David Price Racing (DPR) in the second of the two GP2 races supporting the French Grand Prix. Mixed weather shaped...
MAGNY COURS SHOWS POTENTIAL FOR DPR
Diego Nunes and Michael Herck returned to the Magny Cours track in France today, racing with David Price Racing (DPR) in the second of the two GP2 races supporting the French Grand Prix. Mixed weather shaped the race, but it was ultimately technical problems that forced Nunes to retire. Herck drove well to finish in 15th place, while still recovering from his wrist injury, which had put him out of the Series until this weekend.
Nunes had a strong start to his weekend yesterday with his best qualifying and Feature race performances of the season. From an 11th place finish, Nunes lined up in this position for today's start. Prior to the start it was raining in Magny Cours, so all the teams had to make a late call on tyre choice. Alongside most of the grid, DPR opted to begin the race on wet tyres, and Nunes made a good start on these tyres, moving up to eighth place by the end of the first lap and into seventh by the third lap.
Herck had been forced to retire with his wrist injury yesterday, so he lined up in 24th place for today's Sprint race. He remained calm and avoided tangling in the melee of the start to move up to 23rd by the end of the first lap.
Both drivers were called in for dry tyres as soon as the track conditions were suitable and although slippery they were able to rejoin and return to a good race pace. However a number of cars had started the race on dry tyres, so had not needed to pit, handing them the advantage and dropping the DPR cars back down the order.
Nunes, lying in 15th place, had a strong pace until the closing stages of the race when he was forced to return to the pits to retire from the race with an electronics problem. Herck demonstrated his determination and fortitude surviving a tough race to be rewarded with a 15th place finish after 28 laps of hard running. Despite not being at full fitness due to his wrist injury, the young Romanian-born driver was putting in consistent lap times, completing the first GP2 race of his career.
David Price, Team Principal, summed up the race, and the weekend, saying, "We started on wet tyres as the track seemed just too damp and slippery for drys, as quite a few drivers showed. However a few of them managed to cope with the conditions on the slicks and they ultimately won through. We might have made the wrong tyre choice, but in the end it didn't matter which tyre we were on with Diego as we were struck with another technical problem. When these things happen it's tough, but we're a strong team and will bounce back for Silverstone.
"Michael ran well today and took his first GP2 chequered flag, so he gained experience and at this stage it is track time and racing that he needs to develop in the Series. While other drivers fell off the road he persevered and reached the finish, and now we can build on this start as we progress into the season."
The DPR team return to the UK today and prepare for their home race, with the GP2 Series supporting the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, in two weeks time.