Dutch youngster Daniël De Jong and Spanish team-mate Dani Clos both scored points during the penultimate event of 2013.
First year GP2 Series squad MP Motorsport enjoyed a successful visit to the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore over the weekend, 21st/22nd September, where Dutch youngster Daniël De Jong and Spanish team-mate Dani Clos both scored points during the penultimate event of 2013.
“We’re really delighted to be back in the points this weekend”, commented team principal Sander Dorsman, “Singapore is a very tough track, it’s very easy to make a mistake so for Daniël and Dani to have both done so well is a big confidence boost for everyone before the final round. All the guys in the team have been working so hard, this is a good reward.”
Qualifying 13th on the grid for Saturday’s ‘Feature Race’, after a tough session dominated by traffic issues, Clos made excellent progress off the start and climbed into 11th place initially before quickly breaking into the top 10. After making a relatively early stop for his mandatory tyre change on lap nine, Clos rejoined in 15th place but by lap 16 he was back into the top 10.
Although under pressure at the end from Mitch Evans, the 24-year-old held firm and retained his richly deserved top 10 placing by 0.3 seconds from the Kiwi driver. The result also, of course, gave Clos a strong starting position for Sunday’s encounter.
De Jong, lining-up 24th on the grid after having suffered more than Clos with traffic and yellow flags in qualifying, also came through the order well and after his pit-stop he worked hard to claw his way back up the order. Just after mid-distance, the Dutchman was on the fringe of the top 20 and by the end of the race on lap 28 he had battled into 17th position.
In Sunday’s encounter, De Jong made the most of fresh tyres to slice his way through from 17th place into 11th by the end of the opening lap, before becoming embroiled in a scintillating battle with the likes of front-runners James Calado and Felipe Nasr. Following a mistake from Calado on lap four, De Jong moved ahead into 10th before then climbing into ninth place at mid-distance.
After more superb wheel-to-wheel racing, De Jong usurped Rene Binder on lap 12 and also the car of Saturday’s GP2 race winner Jolyon Palmer – the latter badly struggling with tyre wear – to move into a brilliant seventh place.
Clos, beginning the race on the fifth row of the grid, was nudged back a place or two initially before a multi-car tangle just ahead of him midway around the opening lap resulted in the Spanish driver having to take urgent avoiding action on the outside.
After being stuck alongside the incident, he managed to rejoin the action and mounted a strong recovery to climb as high as 14th place as the race passed mid-distance. Unfortunately though, he had to make an unscheduled pit-stop to change tyres due to high levels of degradation so slipped to 21st place.
There is now a lengthy six week break ahead of the final two rounds of the GP2 Series, which will take place at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on 2nd/3rd November.