GP2

Valencia: Racing Engineering race one report

Neither of the Racing Engineering drivers started as high up the grid as they, and the Team, had hoped for following a 30 minute Qualifying session that was interrupted by red and yellow flags. Javier Villa eventually lined up 15th whilst Marcos...

Neither of the Racing Engineering drivers started as high up the grid as they, and the Team, had hoped for following a 30 minute Qualifying session that was interrupted by red and yellow flags. Javier Villa eventually lined up 15th whilst Marcos Martinez finished 19th following a spin at the final corner which left his car beached on the kerb and requiring a helping push from the marshals.

The Feature Race began under cloudy skies with light rain falling on the track which left many teams in a quandary as to their tyre choice and the grid showed the indecision with some cars opting for wets, others for slicks. Both of the Racing Engineering cars started on slicks, a decision that was immediately shown to be the right one. Javier made a clean start but the getaway from Marcos was nothing less than sensational, from 19th on the grid he was 8th at the end of the opening lap!

Marcos continued to progress through the field and by lap 3 he was 5th and driving superbly. Conditions soon became very difficult as the rain started to fall in increasing amounts and several drivers spun off or visited the gravel traps. Both Marcos and Javier were driving very composed races, gaining places were possible but staying out of trouble and by lap 11 Marcos was 4th and Javier 7th. Lap 12 saw Javi, who was involved in a tight battle with Pantano make his mandatory pitstop to be quickly followed by Marcos as the rain began to fade and the track soon began to dry.

Marcos continued to run in 4th place behind a distant Nakajima but quickly pulling out a big gap to Filippi, Javi was lying 11th chasing Tung and ahead of Hernandez. The positions now remained static for several laps until lap 24 when Tung went wide on the exit of a corner and into the gravel and before he could regain the track Javi was through and up to 10th. Marcos was now having a very lonely race in fourth and he gradually opened the gap over Filippi to 32 seconds by lap 32. Javi was now closing in on the Russian driver Aleshin and on lap 36 he out-braked the ART car to take 9th. As the last few laps ticked away Marcos continued his superb run in 4th whilst Javi was suddenly promoted to 8th when Filippi spun on the exit of the last corner and finished in the gravel trap.

Once again the Racing Engineering team have delivered on the day with a superb run from both drivers in their Repsol/Telefonica Dallaras under very difficult conditions. For tomorrow's Sprint Race Javi will be starting from pole position, a position from where he has won more than once this year. Marcos will start from 5th and he has shown today he is more than capable of running at the front of the field.

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon (team principal): "I am happy with both of our drivers in the points and Javi will be starting from pole tomorrow. A big thank you to our crew who have done a very good job today."

Javier Villa (driver car 14): "This was a difficult race, especially at the beginning there were moments when we were faster than those on rain tyres. Towards the end of the race, when things calmed down a bit, I had a very good race rhythm and this can help me tomorrow."

Marcos Martinez (driver car 15): "We took a risk and started on slicks. After a good start I was able to run in a top position, when it started to rain heavily. However we decided to stay out on dry tyres, which was the right decision. After some 10 difficult laps the track dried up and I had to keep a fast rhythm in order to keep my position. I would like to thank the team for the work they've done andI hope that tomorrow I have a good race."

-credit: re

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