TOP TEN FINISH FOR DPR IN MAGNY COURS The final GP2 race of the weekend for David Price Racing (DPR) produced two solid results for the team in Magny Cours with Andy Soucek finishing 10th and Christian Bakkerud in 12th place at the chequered...
TOP TEN FINISH FOR DPR IN MAGNY COURS
The final GP2 race of the weekend for David Price Racing (DPR) produced two solid results for the team in Magny Cours with Andy Soucek finishing 10th and Christian Bakkerud in 12th place at the chequered flag. Bakkerud started today's sprint race from 20th place after retiring at half distance in yesterday's feature race. Soucek recorded a 13th place finish, but lined up in 12th after a technical infringement demoted one of his rivals further back on the grid.
The start of the 28 lap race saw both DPR drivers pass cars and improve on their grid places. Crossing the line after the first full lap, Soucek was lying in 10th place and Bakkerud in 18th. In the opening few laps both drivers had close battles with their rivals, attacking those ahead of them and defending hard from drivers behind. Bakkerud drove well and was quickly making progress through the field, up to 15th on the second lap and then into 14th one lap later. He was trading places with Roldan Rodriguez as both battled for the 14th spot, but lost out and was back in 15th at the halfway point, while Soucek had also dropped a place to lie 11th.
As the laps counted down both drivers held position and with the leader out of the race they picked up a place apiece. Soucek, struggling for grip with degrading tyres, protected his 10th place until the chequered flag and Bakkerud continued to battle hard, finishing 12th at the completion of the race.
Soucek said of his weekend, "Qualifying wasn't as good as we expected and we didn't improve on our second set of tyres, but I'm not sure why. We need to understand why we couldn't make progress. Yesterday's start was crazy, and then on the restart I was very strong, and able to pass other cars quite comfortably. However after only five or six laps I had bad graining of the tyres which was the biggest problem for me as it affected the balance of the car and I was suffering oversteer. It's always difficult when you pit so early in such a long race and it meant that I couldn't push as hard as I needed to, but it was good to reach the chequered flag.
"Today was less eventful, although a little bit of rain did make the track very slippery. Others made a few mistakes, but I just wanted to maintain my pace. I started to have the same tyre wear problems as yesterday and even though the car was more consistent I was still not able to run at the pace of the cars ahead. We need to look at the tyre wear and work at maintaining our performance level throughout both races."
Bakkerud was disappointed not to have finished the Feature race but encouraged by his pace in today's event.
He said, "Yesterday was a bit frustrating for me as I was running in the top ten and could have finished in the points, but not having a wing mirror compromised my race. I had to guess and gamble as I couldn't see the position of cars behind. It was a shame that contact put me out, as I then had to start today's race from so far back. "I'm clearly pleased to have finished today's race after all of our troubles yesterday and 12th position is okay but not where I would like to be. The good thing is that I really got to race today and improved my lap and sector times throughout the 28 laps. I know I'm good with conserving my tyres and had the race been slightly longer I'm sure I could have improved a bit further." DPR will be heading home today and looking forward to their local race at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone next weekend.