DPR DIREXIV'S VALENCIA CHALLENGE It was a challenging opening race weekend for the DPR Direxiv& ...
DPR DIREXIV'S VALENCIA CHALLENGE
It was a challenging opening race weekend for the DPR Direxiv drivers, Oliver Pla and Clivio Piccione, with 10th place in the first race being the best result to show for their efforts.
Race 1 -- Saturday, 8th April
Having qualified in 15th and 16th places on the grid for yesterday's first 'Grand' race, the drivers faced an uphill task to climb through the field for point-scoring positions.
Frenchman Pla had a good start and made steady progress all the way to the top of the leader board until he had to take his mandatory pit stop. Re-joining back in 16th place, having stopped later than most of his rivals, he drove steadily to finish just outside the points in 10th place. Monegasque Clivio Piccione had a torrid time in the middle of the pack, getting caught up in a melee of cars on the first lap and damaging his car. This subsequently was the cause of his exit from the race one lap later.
Race 2 -- Sunday, 9th April
Six cars started from the pit lane, including the two DPR Direxiv cars. Their start wasn't helped by a rival stalling in the pit lane as well! A sticking throttle in the morning warm up session gave Piccione a frightening start to his day.
He was going through the quickest corner on the track when it happened and went straight into the wall. A sore lower back, and new front end and corner on the car later, and the team was fighting hard to make the repairs in time for the start of the second race. Just missing the cut by 30 seconds meant that Clivio had to start the race from the pit lane. In common with Olivier Pla, he struggled for rear end grip as the race progressed and was unable to finish the race after spinning off.
"It wasn't my weekend. In the warm up the throttle jammed on the first lap at the quickest corner of the track and I went straight on into the wall. I didn't feel so good with pain in my lower back, but everyone worked really hard to get back out in time. Unfortunately it got fixed 30 seconds too late, so we just missed the pit lane closing and had to start from there.
Piccione continued, "It went okay for the first couple of laps but I got stuck behind Fauzy for about three quarters of the race and then had a big tyre degradation. I'd got up to p12 but spun as the car became more difficult to drive. It wasn't really a good race and it was tough trying not to spin in every corner, but we know what areas we have to work on for the next race."
Toulouse resident Pla also faced a battle, having to start from the pit lane after stalling on the grid.
"Everyone was really slow going to the grid and I had to lift the clutch 3 or 4 times and on the 4th time I stalled. With the car handling like it was I couldn't do much, but my engineer and I have had a long talk and we know what we have to do next time. I was pretty quick at the beginning of race, getting one of the quickest laps, but then had tyre degradation which was getting worse and worse. The car was good on new tyres but not very consistent on long runs. We have to improve."