SPA CHALLENGES DPR DRIVERS IN TOUGH CONDITIONS Tricky conditions at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, the venue for the penultimate round of the 2008 GP2 Series for David Price Racing (DPR), created a chaotic Feature race today. With three safety...
SPA CHALLENGES DPR DRIVERS IN TOUGH CONDITIONS
Tricky conditions at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, the venue for the penultimate round of the 2008 GP2 Series for David Price Racing (DPR), created a chaotic Feature race today. With three safety car periods, and numerous drivers running off track, both DPR drivers had their fair share of drama, but both stayed the distance. Nunes finally passed the chequered flag in 13th place, with team mate Herck taking his best Feature result in 15th position.
Both drivers posted their best qualifying session times of the season so far, with Nunes scoring 14th quickest lap and Herck lapping 18th fastest. A penalty for Chandhok, the quickest driver in the session, put him further back down the grid, promoting Nunes to 13th place for the start of the Feature race.
The Feature race grid formed, but with bad weather conditions, the race started behind the safety car. After two laps touring at low speed the safety car peeled off the track to release the GP2 field for full speed running. With the spray flying behind the cars, visibility was poor for every car aside from the leader, but both Nunes and Herck coped well and maintained position in the opening laps.
Nunes moved up to 11th place before making his mandatory stop and Herck was further down the field. After ten laps of the race the safety car was deployed for the second time after an accident for Davide Valsecchi. Nunes was lying in 11th place with Herck in 19th as the field returned to racing again. A small mistake for Nunes on the restart lap ended with him bouncing across the track, which dropped him back down the order.
Nunes recovered from his off track excursion to continue and the young DPR driver was keen to make up further positions. With 10 laps remaining he was lying in 14th position, with team mate Herck in 17th place. He soon moved up to 13th position, while Herck locked up his brakes and lost position, dropping him to 19th on track. A clash with Georgio Pantano with four laps remaining put Nunes back to 17th place, and with the safety car reappearing for a third time, the young Brazilian driver had little opportunity to make up ground.
After a lap behind the safety car the GP2 field returned to race for the final two laps and with others making mistakes both DPR drivers improved on their positions, with Nunes finally crossing the finish line in 13th place and Herck in 15th position, the best Feature race finish for Herck so far.
David Price, Team Principal, concluded, "We had a better start to the race weekend in Spa, with both drivers putting in good qualifying performances and showing improvement. The race today was always going to be tough, particularly with the difficult weather conditions, and with neither having experienced racing a GP2 car here, it was a learning curve for them. Two solid finishes was a positive, although I think it was a shame that Diego didn't finish in the top ten; he made a small error, but it was fairly costly. Now we'll see what the drivers can do tomorrow in the Sprint race."
The penultimate Sprint race of the 2008 season takes place tomorrow morning at the Spa circuit, supporting the FIA Formula One World Championship round at the Belgian circuit.