GP2

Nurburgring: Racing Engineering qualifying report

Lucas Di Grassi qualifies 3rd in Germany A cloudy sky, wind and temperatures more usual for the German winter than July, welcomed the GP2 Series for its fifth round of the 2009 championship at the Nurburgring. Nevertheless, these ...

Lucas Di Grassi qualifies 3rd in Germany

A cloudy sky, wind and temperatures more usual for the German winter than July, welcomed the GP2 Series for its fifth round of the 2009 championship at the Nurburgring. Nevertheless, these unpleasant conditions did not put the Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers off and they were able to show their competitive pace in both, free practice and qualifying. Lucas will start Saturday's feature race from 3rd place on the grid, whereas his team mate Dani, will start 17th.

After a productive free practice session, where Lucas finished in sixth, setting his fastest lap time at 1'39.347, and Dani finishing in 21st, both Fat Burner Racing Engineering drivers headed into qualifying determined to build on their pace and set times that would give them the best possible starting positions for Saturday's feature race.

In qualifying, Lucas was the first man to be out on the track and from the start, managed to set very competitive times, leaving no doubt in how eager he is to win in Germany. He quickly found himself at the top of the time sheet with a comfortable gap to the rest of the field. Bringing the tyres up to temperature was a major issue today, and Lucas, once he had his second set of tyres warmed up, was hampered by several yellow flags during the final minutes of the session. Rodriguez and Hulkenberg were one of the few who were able to improve their lap times and set times faster than those of the Brazilian in the Fat Burner Racing Engineering car. However, Lucas finished the session in an excellent 3rd position and as a consequence is one of the main contenders for Saturday's race win.

Spanish rookie Dani Clos on the other hand will start tomorrow's race from 17th. While he was setting very good lap times during the first part of qualifying, which allowed him to position himself in the top 10, the young Spaniard wasn't able to put his fastest sectors together into one proper lap during the second part and dropped back. But given the fact that Dani is really feeling confident for this weekend and is very comfortable with his car, Fat Burner Racing Engineering is convinced that with another one of his excellent race starts, Dani can finish the feature race in an very good position.

Lucas Di Grassi: Everything went fine. There was a bit of rain at the beginning of the session, we immediately went out on new tyres. The car was good and everything felt really fine. I was first with a quite big time gap to the rest. However, on my second set I couldn't really use the tyres correctly because of the yellow flags. I lost pole during the last minutes, but I think 3rd is a good position and from there we can win tomorrow's race.

Dani Clos: The car went really well and we have the set up part really well controlled. With my first set of tyres I was within the top 10. I felt really comfortable with the car and was confident. When the new set of tyres was mounted, the car still felt really well, but I wasn't able to put all fast sectors together. I also noticed some suspicious vibration from the back of the car, which we have to look into now. The team did a great job and now we have to see what can be done tomorrow.

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, Team President: Both drivers did very well today, although with very different outcome. While Lucas was setting a very good time at the beginning, which placed him at the top of the time sheets, he dropped back to third during the last minutes of qualifying. However, knowing his driving skills, I am very optimistic for tomorrow's race. Dani was also very competitive during the first part of the session and it looked as if he could finally obtain the grid position he deserves. But it wasn't meant to be and on his second set of tyres he couldn't set a fast lap. We know we are on the right path as both drivers are happy with their cars. The boys have once more done a fantastic job by giving the drivers not only a fast, but also reliable car.

-credit: re

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering