A Day of Unfulfilled Promises for Ultimate in Hungary
Greg Mansell (#3): Start Position: 16th Race Position: DNF
Miguel Molina (#4): Start position: 2nd Race Position: DNF
The second race of the Hungarian weekend finished on a low point when Miguel Molina was denied a possible win by a throttle failure and Greg Mansell's first lap charge was brought to an abrupt end when the number 3 Ultimate Motorsport Dallara was rear ended by another car as Mansell tried to avoid a spinning car in front of him.
After yesterday's Superpole qualifying, Miguel Molina lined up for Sunday's race on the front row, with championship leader Marcos Martinez just in front of him on pole position. Greg Mansell was 16th on the grid, three places further back than race one, but the young British driver had proven in the earlier encounter that he was capable of moving up the order.
At the start Molina switched to the outside of the track to try and get a better run into Turn 1 but Martinez was able to hold off the challenge to keep the lead. The rest of the 26-car field were able to make it through the first few corners with Greg Mansell in the thick of the action. However it all went wrong before the end of the lap when a car spun across the track, forcing Mansell to take avoiding action; but his prompt reaction wasn't shared by Edoardo Mortara, who ran into the back of the Ultimate Dallara, spinning it across the track where it was collected by two other cars. All of the other drivers involved were shaken but otherwise unhurt, however the incident had left debris strewn across the track, which brought out the Safety Car.
Miguel Molina was following race leader Marcos Martinez until the lights went out on the Renault Megane Safety Car to signal the race would get underway at the end of that lap, when Martinez suddenly slowed and pulled off the circuit, promoting Molina to top spot. With the green flags waving Miguel Molina led down to the first corner but Bertrand Baguette dived down the inside on the run into the first corner to demote Molina back to second place. The top two drivers were nose-to-tail and started to pull away from third placed Charles Pic and the rest of the field.
For the next few laps Baguette and Molina set the fastest lap times, with the Spaniard able to keep the leader in his sights as he waiting for the Belgian to make a mistake he could exploit. The race came to a halt again on lap 10 when the Safety Car was deployed after James Walker's Dallara was wrapped around the end of the safety barrier following an incident with another car. The wreckage was quickly cleared and racing resumed, with teams bringing their drivers in for their mandatory pitstops.
Baguette elected to stay out on track while Molina came into the pits at the end of lap 13. The Ultimate Motorsport pit crew turned Molina's car round in just 5.8 seconds, one of the fastest times of the day.
Miguel Molina rejoined the track in the mid field but had to wait for the rest of the front runners to pit before the running order became clear. However lady luck deserted the Ultimate team once again and Miguel Molina came back into the pits on lap 19 to retire with a broken throttle sensor, just after setting the fastest sector 1 time of the race at that point.
The second race in Hungary marked the first DNF in 2009 for Ultimate Motorsport and the team will hope that the fact that both cars failed to finish the race will mean that they have had their run of bad luck for a while. The next two races will take place on the Wellingborough based team's home track at Silverstone in three week's time. Both the team and drivers will be putting the disappointments of Hungary behind them and will work towards for a return to their normal front running form on familiar territory.
Greg Mansell: "I had a good start and was making progress when I saw what was happening and just slowed down for the car that was spinning to go down the inside of him. The guy behind had no idea what was going on and hit me straight over the top. That then spun me and I just closed my eyes and held on. The first two hits weren't too bad, it was the next one that hurt; but I'm OK. As hard as it is to say this weekend has been a positive one. We found the set up with the car that I like and I can drive; it's giving me the feedback that I'm looking for. Yesterday's race was fantastic even though the results don't show it, we were pretty much the only car out there overtaking and making them stick and that's a position I haven't yet been in this year, so it's exciting from that point of view. We have a very good car now, I'm driving well, so that's the positives I'm taking away from Hungary. I'm looking forward to Silverstone!"
Miguel Molina: "Well it wasn't so good for me today. The start of the race was really good, we caught Martinez and I attempted to overtaking him into the first corner but it was difficult so I moved back behind him. After the Safety Car went back in he had a problem with his car, possibly his engine, and I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do because Martinez went off and I wasn't sure if I should overtake him. So it wasn't so good at the restart and Baguette overtook me. I then started to have a problem with the throttle which eventually caused me to retire. It is very disappointing but I am putting this behind me and looking forward to the next races at Silverstone."
Colin Morgan (Team Manager): "That was a weekend of should've beens really, that's all we can say about it. In the incident involving Greg, he did all the right things; it was just unfortunate that the cars around him didn't and he was very much a victim of other people's lack of awareness. Miguel had a good start but a mechanical failure in the throttle put an end to his race. Both drivers had very good cars and if things had gone our way both would've had very good results but, unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. We're looking forward to the next races on the team's home circuit at Silverstone where we can hopefully continue with the pace from this weekend and get the results the team deserve this time."
Rounds 8 & 9 of the World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Championship will take place on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in the UK.