GP2

Portimao: Racing Engineering race two report

Dani Clos scores his first points and podium! Fat Burner Racing Engineering finished the 2009 GP2 season on a high after its driver Dani Clos, finished third in today's sprint race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Lucas id Grassi, on...

Dani Clos scores his first points and podium!

Fat Burner Racing Engineering finished the 2009 GP2 season on a high after its driver Dani Clos, finished third in today's sprint race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Lucas id Grassi, on the other hand, had the misfortune of being handed a drive through at the beginning of the race which ended his chances to score another great result.

After completing two warm up laps, drivers and cars took their places on the grid to start the last race of the 2009 season. But when the lights went off at the Portuguese track, a heavy accident between Herck and Petrov, whose car had stalled on the grid, red flagged the race for over 20 minutes. Once the track was cleared of all the debris, the safety car lead the field with Lucas, who had started six, running in third. Dani, who had lost one place to Valsecchi, was in 10th. At the end of the second lap, the safety car left the track slowly and created certain confusion among the drivers. Lucas, who for some unknown reason had the car's front lift briefly, lost a place to Kobayashi, but a couple of laps later he regained the lost position. Dani, meanwhile was overtaken by Villa and Perez. Villa, knowing he had passed the Fat Burner Racing Engineering under yellow flags, quickly gave the place back, contrary to the Mexican, who was later penalized with 25 second and handed third to Dani.

Things turned for the worse for Lucas when he was handed a drive through, along with five other drivers, as a consequence of the confusion with the exit of the safety car at the restart. This unfortunate turn of events pushed the Brazilian driver back to 17th place. This favored his teammate who was now running in fourth and starting a good fight with Villa for third, while holding back the attacks of Parente. Though the Spanish driver was not able to pass his countryman, he managed to keep the Portuguese at bay and cross the line in fourth position (although later had third when Perez, who finished second, was penalized), scoring his first points in GP2. Lucas, on the other hand, could do nothing to finish in the points and had to settle for 15th.

Dani Clos: At the start I lost one place and I was behind Valsecchi. I believe I could have passed him, but then there was an accident and when the race restarted behind the safety car, two drivers overtook me. These two drivers were Perez and Villa. Villa knew he had done some wrong, so he gave me back my place, but Perez did not. I think this has been a complicated race as there was a lot of tyre wear. I had Parente pressuring me during most of the race, but I was able to hold my place. Though today I have scored my first points in the GP2 championship, I am not really happy as I should have finished third, but I guess this is the way things go in racing. Although, Perez, now with a 25 second penalty, has handed me a podium finish.

I believe that this season I was not able to show what I am capable of. During the first races I had always some kind of problem and then I had to start the sprint races from the back. Maybe the races were good, as I was overtaking often, but the truth is that it was not good enough since I was not scoring points. Now I hope to be stronger for next year and that everything goes well.

Lucas Di Grassi: I had a good start to the race, improving three positions. Everything was going fine until the safety car left the track. In my opinion, what happened was a safety car mistake that cost the entire top of the field their respective positions, as we were all penalized with drive throughs. At the restart, my car actually lifted a bit, and this allowed Kobayashi to overtake me, but I quickly gained back third place. We lost an easy podium here. It is incredible that we lost third position in the teams championship, now, sadly, we are forth.

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, Team President: Fantastic job everybody! Pitty about the drive through handed to Lucas, but wonderful firsts points for Dani. I would also like to take the time to congratulate everyone in the team for their fantastic work they have done this season. Now we have to improve on this results next year.

-credit: re

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Dani Clos
Teams Racing Engineering