TWO SOLID FINISHES AT SILVERSTONE FOR DPR David Price Racing (DPR) were on the most familiar territory for the team today, out on the British Silverstone track, the nearest GP2 race venue to the team's base in Surrey. The team's two rookie GP2...
TWO SOLID FINISHES AT SILVERSTONE FOR DPR
David Price Racing (DPR) were on the most familiar territory for the team today, out on the British Silverstone track, the nearest GP2 race venue to the team's base in Surrey. The team's two rookie GP2 drivers, Michael Herck and Diego Nunes, made their UK debuts in this afternoon's feature race with a capacity crowd at the Northamptonshire circuit enjoying the hard racing that epitomises this F1 feeder series.
Preparations for the two races this weekend began yesterday with only a one hour practice session giving the drivers experience of the Silverstone circuit in their GP2 machines before the qualifying session. Nunes began the session well posting ninth quickest time on his first set of tyres, but was unable to improve on his second set of new rubber, finally lining up in 18th place for today's start. Herck, in only his second race weekend with the team, improved throughout both sessions, and lined up in 26th position on the grid.
The start produced a clean getaway for most of the field, but Herck was left behind after stalling. He was able to join the race but having lost over 60 seconds, he found himself running far behind the others, and a lonely race ahead of him. Despite this, he pushed onwards. Nunes made a good start, but was knocked off the track by rival, Davide Valsecchi, dropping him right to the back of the field. He recovered and began to improve his lap times, but on the 5.14 kilometre track with few overtaking opportunities, the young Brazilian also had a tough time ahead.
The pitstop window opened early in the race, but with the ever-present threat of rain, the majority of the teams opted to stay out. Nunes was turning laps which comfortably matched the pace of the top ten, pitting after 13 laps of racing. Over the course of the first half of the race the GP2 field completed the mandatory stop, with Nunes lying in 20th and Herck behind in 25th place when all were on new tyres. As the race reached half distance Nunes had moved up two positions, then he began hounding Adrian Valles ahead of him, closing down the gap to lie 0.1 seconds behind him with eight laps remaining, whilst having to defend from Alvaro Parente, sitting on his rear, only 0.3 seconds adrift. As the laps counted down Nunes kept making moves on Valles, and when both Nunes and Valles ran wide in their fight, Parente slipped through to pass both. Nunes then finally overtook Valles, salvaging a 17th place finish, to start in this position for tomorrow's sprint race.
Herck battled through a tough race, avoiding being caught in the many incidents, and using the valuable track time to gain experience of the GP2 car. He brought the DPR car home in 23rd place, his first Feature race distance completed so far.
David Price, Team Principal said of the Feature race, "Diego was lapping well within the times of the top ten guys, but on such a long circuit, and having lost ground at the start, he was never able to make much inroad into the field. He didn't get the best out of the tyres yesterday, so started further back than we would have liked. This, compounded with his opening lap incident, compromised his race today. Michael just needs time and experience. Today he racked up more miles, and he's making progress. It won't be easy for either of our drivers tomorrow, but we'll pull together as a team to do the best we can."
The second of the two races at this fifth round of the GP2 Series takes place tomorrow morning, with the field of GP2 drivers set to entertain the crowds with more fast and furious racing..