IRKSOME IMOLA FOR DPR DIREXIV Back in front of the Formula One teams and fans at a circuit liked and familiar to both of DPR Direxiv's two drivers, Clivio Piccione and Olivier Pla, the weekend at Imola promised much but ultimately ...
IRKSOME IMOLA FOR DPR DIREXIV
Back in front of the Formula One teams and fans at a circuit liked and familiar to both of DPR Direxiv's two drivers, Clivio Piccione and Olivier Pla, the weekend at Imola promised much but ultimately delivered frustratingly little. The team was hoping for a big improvement on a difficult weekend at the series' opening round in Valencia and, after the one 30 minute practice session, things were moving in the right direction.
A significant change to the set up of the car made it quicker and more consistent for both drivers and they qualified in 10th (Piccione) and 13th place (Pla), unlucky to have been outside the top six in another typically close qualifying session.
Race 1 -- Saturday, 22nd April
Monegasque driver, Piccione, was looking forward to capitalising on his 5th row starting position but his engine lost power before the first corner and then turned itself off.
A desperately frustrating end to what could have been a great weekend. Olivier Pla from Toulouse, who has been suffering from flu all weekend and had several visits to the doctor for medical treatment, was up to 8th position before the pit stops, and well placed for a points finish, when he got caught up in di Grassi's accident. Pla ended up with di Grassi's driveshaft in his front wishbone, spearing him off the track and ripping off the right front corner of his car.
Race 2 -- Sunday, 23rd April
With neither DPR Direxiv car finishing Race 1, today's second Sprint race was always going to be a challenge beginning with a start from near the back of the grid. With no race data available, Piccione effectively went into the race "blind" but was happy with the decisions made on the set up of the car and went on to finish 16th .
Clivio Piccione: "It was an interesting race and I've got a finish so that's the first step! I had quite a battle with Fauzy today and it was really hard to get through. I was destroying my rear tyres trying to catch him up, so decided to back off a bit, get some clean laps and see how the car was doing. I set my fastest race lap then so that is encouraging for the next race. Without the engine problem yesterday it would have been completely different, but we had it and we have to deal with it. Next time I'll start at the front and stay at the front."
Olivier Pla struggled with his car and his health through to the finish, although was knocked off the track on the last lap by Valles. He was still classified, but two laps down.
Team Principal David Price was typically honest in his appraisal of the weekend. "It's hard to draw comfort from coming 16th and last, but 4th fastest race lap for Clivio was some scant consolation. However, we made a big step forward from Valencia, and we know now what we have to do to improve further for Nurburgring so that's a good positive thought to be going forward with."