Circuit de Monaco
A disappointing day for Racing Engineering in Monaco.
Today’s 30 lap Sprint Race saw Alvaro Parente starting 7th on the reversed grid with Clos back in 20th as a result of his accident in yesterday’s Feature Race. As the lights went off Parente made a good start and was able to move up to 6th as Coletti stalled on the grid, further down the field Clos made an even better start and was 14th at the end of the first lap.
Parente was now chasing Valsecchi and was just 0.5 seconds behind with Filippi a similar distance behind the Racing Engineering car whilst Clos was 0.6 seconds down on Fauzy and 0.8 seconds ahead of Palmer.
Lap 3 saw the Safety Car deployed as a car had stopped on the start-finish line and it took four laps for the car to be moved. Whilst the Safety Car was on track it was announced that five cars, including Parente and Clos, were under investigation for jumped starts and on lap 8 a further announcement handed out drive-through penalties to all five drivers.
On lap 9 the Safety Car was out again following an accident at the swimming pool and two laps later, as racing resumed, Parente and Clos both took their penalty, Parente resuming in 20th place and Clos 21st. With all hopes of a good result now impossible both drivers concentrated on gaining as many positions as possible and with a clear track in front of them both men set their fastest laps of the race so far.
Both Parente and Clos gained a place as one of the cars ahead stopped at the pits and by lap 25 Parente was just 0.6 seconds behind Cecotto with Clos 0.7 seconds behind him. With one lap to go Parente passed Cecotto to finish 16th whilst Clos crossed the line in 18th.
Although today didn’t bring about the results hoped for, both Parente and Clos were setting very quick lap times and, combined with yesterday’s great result for Parente, the entire Racing Engineering team are looking forward to the next round of the 2011 GP2 Series at Valencia on the 24th to 26th June.
Dani Clos: “In general this was a complicated weekend. We were always in a position to be in the top 3, but the problems faced in qualifying kept us from showing this. But these things happen and we continue to push forward. We see that we are very strong and I am motivated to put everything together.”
Alvaro Parente: “We lost points stupidly today as I am sure we could have finished in 4th or 5th, it's a pity. However, the car felt really good and it's a shame I had a drive through penalty. It's a pity the weekend finishes like this as I think we were doing really well.”
Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering: “I don't know what to say about the drive throughs. The drivers said they didn't move, but obviously the sensor graphs don't lie. I am happy with the cars as both drivers showed a good pace. Without their penalties, I am sure both would have been in the top 10 and Alvaro scoring points. Now we are getting ready for Valencia.”
-source: racing engineering