DOUBLE DISAPPOINTMENT IN INDONESIA David Price Racing (DPR) had double disappointment in the GP2 Asian Series today, with the first of the two races at Sentul circuit, Indonesia ending with Brazilian Diego Nunes crashing out and a retirement for...
DOUBLE DISAPPOINTMENT IN INDONESIA
David Price Racing (DPR) had double disappointment in the GP2 Asian Series today, with the first of the two races at Sentul circuit, Indonesia ending with Brazilian Diego Nunes crashing out and a retirement for young Indian driver Armaan Ebrahim. The unforgiving circuit proved to be a tough challenge for the GP2 field and one that ultimately defeated the DPR team today.
Preparations for the race had not been easy. The first practice session was held in rainy conditions and qualifying was also wet and shortened by a red flag period. At the end of this session Nunes had taken 21st place with Ebrahim just behind in 22nd position. The first of the two Indonesian races took place in the heat and humidity of the afternoon and after the morning rain, the DPR team was pleased to have dry conditions for the start of the race.
Both of the yellow and black DPR teams were able to move up the field significantly on the opening lap, with Nunes and Ebrahim making good starts and benefiting from other drivers' incidents to lie in 12th and 15th place respectively . These incidents brought out a safety car period on lap two, triggering DPR and most other teams to bring the cars in into the pits for the compulsory tyre change stop. Seven cars opted to stay out on track, but both DPR cars pitted, returning to the track with Nunes lying in 13th place and Ebrahim dropping to the tail end of the field. A cooling problem for the young Indian driver forced him to make an extra pitstop with the team making adjustments to alleviate overheating.
After 11 laps of running behind the safety car the field finally returned to green flag racing. The dusty, rough track was taking its toll on many of the field and Nunes was one of its victims. Running wide off the line Nunes was catapulted into the tyre barrier, a hard impact that substantially damaged the DPR car. This incident and an earlier one for Chandhok brought out the second safety car period. With Ebrahim continuing to struggle with a cooling problem he used the opportunity to make another pitstop for the team to check the car. Unfortunately the team had to retire from the race with the problems proving unrepairable during the race.
The challenge of this circuit was evidenced by the final runners on the track numbering just 11 from a starting field of 26 GP2 cars.
David Price, Team Principal, DPR, said after the race, "Our two young drivers had brilliant starts and both were in potential top ten finishing places when the first safety car came out. But it was also one of the most difficult tracks, with very challenging conditions, as we saw with so many drivers going off the track and so few finishers. Starting towards the back for tomorrow's sprint will make it difficult for our drivers to make inroads and we could also have the weather to contend with, but we'll be on the grid and ready to take up the challenge tomorrow."
The second round of the GP2 Asian Series concludes tomorrow with the sprint race, a 30 minutes light to flags race. Ebrahim will start in 18th position and Nunes in 19th place.