NEWGARDEN REMAINS UPBEAT Despite a tough weekend for Josef Newgarden, the American driver remains upbeat about his 2010 GP3 season. Newgarden has so far competed in three events - Barcelona, Istanbul and most recently in Valencia. His weekend in...
NEWGARDEN REMAINS UPBEAT
Despite a tough weekend for Josef Newgarden, the American driver remains upbeat about his 2010 GP3 season. Newgarden has so far competed in three events - Barcelona, Istanbul and most recently in Valencia. His weekend in the Spanish port started out well, with the Carlin driver seventh quickest in Friday's practice session - showing remarkable pace for only his debut run on a street circuit.
However in Saturday's qualifying, strategy became more important than outright speed, and Newgarden lined up for race one in a disappointing 17th position. Starting in the second half of the grid, the 19 year-old knew it would be a tight squeeze going into the first corner, and as anticipated, there were a number of incidents. Fellow American driver Alexander Rossi (ART Grand Prix) was hit from the inside, causing him to make contact with Newgarden. The Carlin car was sent into the wall, and Newgarden's race was over at the first corner.
Newgarden started towards the back of the pack for race two, and when the lights went out on the grid, he had a tough climb to make it back up through the field. Nevertheless, Newgarden drove a solid race, making it up to an impressive 14th position. However the Carlin driver could feel he was losing his brakes, and was having difficulty slowing the car down into the corners. With three laps to go, Newgarden spun after taking evasive action not to hit Michael Christensen (MW Arden) ahead of him. Newgarden re-joined the race and finished in 26th place.
"Starting in the mid-field always brings with it the greater risk of having an accident into the first corner," said Newgarden, "and unfortunately I was unable to avoid that in the first race. The second race was a lot better, but a ruptured brake line just cost us at the end. I'm now focusing on Silverstone and getting a good result there. We know we have the pace, so it's really just a question of turning up and giving it our best shot."
Reflecting on the weekend, Carlin's Racing Director Trevor Carlin said, "This weekend was definitely character building, for the team and the drivers. It's particularly frustrating as we clearly had good pace in practice, but once you have a bad qualifying session, it's very hard to recover in a race schedule like this. We need to take this experience and learn from it, and work out how best to translate our pace in testing into a strong performance in qualifying. We know we have a good car and drivers and we'll be back at the front for our home race at Silverstone."
Newgarden will be back in action on 9, 10 and 11 July at Silverstone, when the GP3 Series arrives in the UK to support the British Grand Prix.
-source: j newgarden