Greg Mansell ( ...
Greg Mansell (#3):
Start Position: 15th Race Position: 13th
Miguel Molina (#4):
Start position: 12th Race Position: 9th Fastest Lap of Race
Greg Mansell and Miguel Molina have had a dramatic start to the 2009 World Series by Renault Season with both Ultimate Motorsport cars amongst the fastest cars lapping the Barcelona circuit, with the Spanish driver setting the fastest lap of the race, plenty of overtaking and dramas throughout the 45 minute race.
Miguel Molina (#4 Ultimate Motorsport) set the fastest time in the SuperPole qualifying for opening meeting of the 2009 World Series by Renault. However the celebrations were cut short when the team spotted a problem when they had mistakenly fitted Molina's car with his teammate's tyres at the start of the session. Team Manager Colin Morgan immediately reported the mistake to the race stewards who took the decision to disallow Molina's SuperPole times. The Spanish driver duly lined up in 12th place for the opening race of the 2009 season, three places ahead of teammate Greg Mansell (#3 Ultimate Motorsport).
Miguel Molina set the fastest lap of the race as he battled hard to move up the grid from his lowly 12th place start. The Spaniard dropped back to 14th at the start as he was forced wide at the first corner. However the experienced racer clawed his way back up the field passing Marco Barba, Brendon Hartley and Pasquale Di Sabatino to catch his teammate Greg Mansell who was battling with Daniil Move. On lap 12 Molina moved up a place by passing Mansell, who also lost a place to Di Sabatino. Three laps later, after an abortive attempt the previous lap, Molina moved ahead of Move, opening a good gap to the Russian as he stared to close the ten second gap to the 8th placed car. However Molina had done all he could and had to settle for 9th place and the consolation of setting the fastest lap of the race.
Greg Mansell started in 15th but a good start saw the Englishman ending the opening lap in 11th and then moved into the top ten two laps later. Mansell was fighting for 10th with Daniil Move but was passed by the charging Miguel Molina, who was followed by Pasquale Di Sabatino, dropping the #3 car down to 12th. Mansell fought back and kept the pressure on Di Sabatino until an opportunity presented itself on lap 19. Mansell dived down the inside of Di Sabatino, moving ahead of the Italian, but Mansell ran wide on the exit losing out not only to Di Sabatino but also to Brendon Hartley and Haralds Segelmilhs. Mansell's race wasn't over and fought his way back up two places by the chequered flag, pressurising Segelmilhs into a mistake on lap 21 and then muscling his way past Daniil Move on lap 23. He then closed up behind Brendon Harley but had to settle for 13th place as the chequered flag was shown to end his debut race.
Miguel Molina: "We had a good race. Starting in 12th and finishing in 9th and two points, it's a good start. We set the fastest lap of the race proving that we are very competitive in qualifying and in the race, so we are very optimistic for the championship. With regards to what happened in qualifying this morning these things happen. Sometimes I make a mistake, and sometimes the team makes a mistake, so it's no problem, these things happen. We have to forget that it has happened and concentrate on the future. With regards to the second race tomorrow we'll have to keep looking at the weather but the car is very good."
Greg Mansell: "Exciting is the word I would use to describe that race. Fantastic start; got in a bit of a muddle at the first corner and came around in about 12th. The car felt really good but I was always one behind the guy who was stuck, so I wasn't the one getting past. I got out of position a few times and then I dropped back again. Made a good move down the back straight to pull some positions back, it was just trying to get used to the car but it was really good racing. We had fantastic pace; I think we pulled six seconds on Hartley in three or four laps. I'm extremely happy with the pace we had in the car but disappointed with the result. This weekend has been challenging and its all about gaining experience. I'm doing a rain dance as we've got fantastic pace in the wet, so if it rains tonight ahead of tomorrow's race it will be great."
Colin Morgan, Team Manager: "It's not a bad start to the season after setting ourselves an obstacle starting where we did in the middle of the field. We played catch up during the race but we learnt a lot for the race tomorrow. Race pace was excellent, which was demonstrated by Miguel's fastest lap, but we need to be clear of the traffic to turn this into results. We had the two quickest cars at the end of the race, with Greg also doing a great job in his first World Series race. If he hadn't run wide he would've been further up the field at the end."
The second race will take place on Sunday 19 April at 13:00 local time (12:00 BST) and will be shown live on Eurosport.