DPR FINISH ON PODIUM IN FINAL GP2 RACE OF 2007
David Price Racing (DPR) had a positive finish to the finale of the 2007 GP2 championship at the Valencia circuit in Spain today with driver Andy Soucek taking his second podium finish of the season in the 29 lap Sprint race. In contrast team mate Christian Bakkerud suffered misfortune after an incident on lap 19 put him out of the race.
An aborted start due to a staller on the grid delayed proceedings, but when the race finally got underway Soucek made a clean start from his third place grid slot, and he maintained this position into the first corner. After a challenge from Martinez, Soucek was pushed down to fourth momentarily before re-taking third, a position which he held for the entire 29 lap Sprint race.
Team mate Christian Bakkerud, after a retirement yesterday, was forced to start from the back of the grid. After ten laps of fighting hard to move up the field, he tangled with Mikhail Aleshin which put them both out of the race; a disappointing end to a tough season for Bakkerud.
Soucek commented about his third place finish: "I am pleased we could finish the race in another podium position, we had a really tough start to this season but we've shown in these two last weekends, that we have the pace to run at the front end of the grid and we can be up there fighting with the front runners. The race was tough on our tyres, but I kept my head down and tried to be consistent keeping up with the front two. I had to defend from Borja Garcia towards the end and 29 laps on the tyres made it a tough battle but overall this is a great end to a hard, but enjoyable, season."
Bakkerud said of his weekend: "Well that just sums up my whole season because I have had absolutely no luck and I was driving reasonably well having made up 6 or so places in the opening 10 laps when Aleshin tried a ridiculous move which took me out. What is so frustrating is that for the fourth race in a row I have been hit from behind by a competitor and which has taken me out. A disappointing end to my season."
Team principal David Price added; "Andy has done a superb job today, its been a hard season for the team, but we've kept our morale high and we've been rewarded with a our best results in the last two events. Christian has had some bad luck throughout the season; he worked hard to come back after his back injury, which plagued him mid-season, but he has overcome this and driven hard in the final leg of races.
The DPR team salvaged 12th place finish in the constructor's championship after a tough start to the season. A late season run of podium and points finishes for Soucek gave him 16th place in the drivers' championship. Driver Christian Bakkerud who was sidelined for several races, failed to score a point and finished the championship in 34th place.
DPR will return to the track next week, testing with the GP2 Series at Jerez. The team will be running current driver Andy Soucek and Italian drivers, Luca Fillipi and Paolo Maria Nocera at this event.