MONZA, ITALY -- ROUND TEN DISASTROUS MONZA FOR DPR It was truly a weekend to forget for all at DPR as the team was unable to record a finish for either car in either of the two races. Despite having been voted "The Most Improved Team" in the...
MONZA, ITALY -- ROUND TEN DISASTROUS MONZA FOR DPR
It was truly a weekend to forget for all at DPR as the team was unable to record a finish for either car in either of the two races.
Despite having been voted "The Most Improved Team" in the Gonzalo Rodriguez Memorial Foundation Winning Attitudes Awards at the beginning of the weekend, there was little further joy for the British team in Italy due to a series of technical issues and on track incidents.
Giorgio Mondini was disappointed not to be able to qualify better than 15th on his 'home' track, just two places in front of Olivier Pla, but that disappointment was nothing compared to what was to follow. On the grid for Saturday's 32-lap feature race, as the start lights were on and engine revs were mounting, Mondini's gearbox switched itself from 1st to reverse due to a bizarre gearbox electronic problem. Feeling the car move slightly, and not wanting to launch himself backwards into his team mate, he put on the brakes. Unfortunately this meant that Olivier had to swerve sharply to avoid him and, in doing so, the Frenchman not only made contact with Mondini but also with Alvarez. With another two cars having stalled behind them, the safety car was deployed whilst the chaos was sorted. Pla's broken car was removed and Mondini's stricken machine pushed off the grid, neither car being able to take any further part in race one. Sunday's sprint race got off to an unusual start as the drivers on the grid were greeted with flashing red lights instead of disappearing red lights - an overnight rain storm had damaged the track's equipment.
The grid did one more lap and took a rolling start behind the Safety Car instead of their usual standing start. The damage incurred to Olivier's chassis in Saturday's event appears to have been more serious than first thought as it was ill-handling from the start of race two. As a result, he spun early on and badly flat spotted his tyres so couldn't continue. The car will go to chassis manufacturer, Dallara, tomorrow for further investigation into the problem. Giorgio Mondini's race was running without incident and he was coming to grips with the low wing balance chosen when he lost all drive. This was later traced to mechanical gearbox failure.
DPR now has just a few days to recover before heading on to Spa for next weekend's races. The last time the team had two such bad races in a row, they won the following race. Everyone's fingers are crossed that this will happen again!