Trident Racing cruised to another points finish this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian round of the 2012 GP2 Series. Monaco-based Stéphane Richelmi ended Race 2 in 6th place, followed by his team-mate Julian Leal, three spots back. The final results testimony the positive trend of the whole team during the weekend, although they did not reflect the earliest expectations.
At the start of Race 2, Leal was involved in a melee but came out of that situation unscattered and in 4th place, in front of fast-starting Richelmi. On lap 8 though, the recovering Gutierrez passed Richelmi and started to press Leal, who successfully defended himself from his attacks. Just a few laps later, Gutierrez went for an impossible move, hitting the Colombian at the exit of Les Combes and sending him into the grave.
Fourth place was then inherited by Richelmi: unfortunately, he was forced to settle for 6th due to tire wear issues. After making his way back on-track, Leal recovered up to the 8th position.
Trident Racing is now looking forward to their home round at Monza. The team and drivers hope to reward their supporters with a great performance at the historical Italian venue.
Stéphane Richelmi, 6th: “I was off to a good start and also got a good run at the first corner, gaining a couple of spot. By the end of the opening lap I was in 5th, behind Julian, but despite I was slightly faster it was impossible to move on him because I kept hitting the rev limiter in the long straight before Les Combes.
I started with harder compound tires and after the contact between my team-mate and Gutierrez I was sure I would have made it to the end easily. I struggled a lot instead, as the rear tires progressively lost grip in acceleration. I'm happy to have finished both races in the points zone although I'm still bitter for the final part of race 2. I hope to be back running at this levels in the next round at Monza.
Julian Leal, 9th: “At the start I took-off better than polesitter Nasr but Kral passes both of us. Then at the first corner I was hit from behind and lost a couple more spots. There's always some drivers attempting hazardous moves at the start but fortunately the car was intact and did not lose its pace. In the first few laps I ran well and my pace was proving pretty fast when Gutierrez tried a really risky move and sent me into the gravel trap.
It's a pity because I think that both the team and I deserved a great result today. I want to stay positive though because we constantly stayed in the top-10. I believe it's an encouraging achievement looking forward to Monza, where I'm sure I'll be again among the frontrunners”.
Source: Trident Racing Team