Molina Just Misses Monaco Podium Greg Mansell ( ...
Molina Just Misses Monaco Podium
Greg Mansell (#3): Start Position: 18th Race Position: 13th
Miguel Molina (#4): Start position: 5th Race Position: 4th
Once again the Ultimate Motorsport cars of Greg Mansell and Miguel Molina were two of the fastest cars on the track and under the watchful gaze of the Formula One Team Principles both drivers were able to improve on their start positions. Miguel Molina took the chequered flag in 4th place on his third visit to the Principality and Greg Mansell finished five places higher than his grid slot on his first.
At the start both Ultimate drivers managed to retain their start positions in opening few laps. On lap 7 Molina closed on fellow Spaniard Marcos Martinez as the Pons Racing car suffered rear brake trouble and on the following lap Molina swept into 4th place as Martinez headed for retirement and started to close the gap on 3rd placed James Walker.
Meanwhile Greg Mansell was challenging Australian A1GP driver John Martin but was unable to find a way round the Comtec Renault and had Julian Leal challenging one place behind. However with drivers falling by the wayside further up the order the trio were able to make progress up the order. On lap 10 Mansell posted the fastest lap of the race at that point, with Leal going four tenths quicker on the next lap.
As the race entered the final five laps Miguel Molina wasn't able to make any impression on Walker and was having to defend his 4th place from Belgium's Bertrand Baguette. Ultimate's Spanish driver started to fall back from Walker as he consolidated his 4th place position. Greg Mansell opened a gap to Leal as he started a challenge on Martin in the final laps but, despite clipping the arnco barrier the Australian failed to make a mistake big enough to allow Mansell to take advantage.
At the chequered flag Miguel Molina was 4.6 seconds behind James Walker, with Greg Mansell crossing the line in 13th place and just 0.4 seconds behind John Martin. Eight championship points for 4th place has put Miguel Molina in 5th place overall on 30 points, 17 behind championship leader Marcos Martinez.
Miguel Molina: "It wasn't such a good weekend because in the first free practice we were fastest at the beginning and it was OK. In the qualifying it was the same; at the beginning it was really good but then I had a little problem with the gearbox under braking and locked the rear tyres. I was third fastest in my qualifying group, so I started the race in 5th position. I had a good start, the driver in front of me made a mistake and I was able to overtake him. We finished 4th and a good amount of points for the championship. The team worked really hard to find the problem in the gearbox overnight and I'm happy with this result."
Greg Mansell: "That was a very hard race. We started the weekend with a poor car in practice and qualifying so we took a punt at it for the race and the team did a great job to give me a very compliant car that you need at Monaco. I think at two different times we were the fastest car out there but we had the same traffic issues as the other twenty cars. I think we're making great progress, I think we're looking good for the end of the season and we need to get on it now and get a good car for the start of the weekend. It's becoming a bit of habit that we're quick for the races but can't get it quick enough for qualifying. I'm happy with the result, I managed to keep it out of the wall on all three days and we've got some great data to move forward to Hungary with a better car."
Colin Morgan (Team Manager): "This was a hard weekend but we've come away from Monaco with some positives ahead of the next races in Hungary. Once again we had two of the fastest cars in the race. Miguel did a great job, it was a shame that he just missed out on a podium finish as overtaking here is so difficult. However 4th place is a good result and gives him some more useful championship points. Greg once again showed he has the race pace and did well to bring the car home five places higher than he started. We're making good progress and we're looking forward to Hungary. We won there last year with Fabio Carbone and Miguel was on the podium, so we'll be looking for a good result. This will be Greg's first time there, but that is the same for most tracks this year. If we can get qualifying sorted, his race pace is there for all to see."
Rounds 6 & 7 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship takes place on June 13 and 14 in Hungary on the Eastern European countries Grand Prix circuit at the Hungaroring.