DPR SURVIVE THE STORM (JUST) The Ardennes region's weather, unpredictable at best and incessant at worst, threw all it had at the GP2 teams this weekend at the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit. By the time the teams lined up for the first race, not...
DPR SURVIVE THE STORM (JUST)
The Ardennes region's weather, unpredictable at best and incessant at worst, threw all it had at the GP2 teams this weekend at the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit. By the time the teams lined up for the first race, not one completely dry lap had been run in practice or qualifying so set up for the cars was a matter of surmise and calculated guesswork.
Olivier Pla had qualified in 13th place, while Giorgio Mondini was in 17th so there was much to be done in the first race to get into a points-scoring position. The outcome of the race, which started under ominous-looking clouds but on a dry track, was affected by both the weather and four safety car periods.
One of these was unfortunately caused midway through the 26-lap event by Giorgio Mondini who -- on a wet track but whilst on dry tyres -- lost control of his car at Radillion and went into the barriers. He damaged the right front and rear of his car. Pla, who rose as high as 3rd before his pit stop, eventually finished in 11th position.
As the chances of rain were high, DPR had delayed the Frenchman's compulsory pit stop until just 5 laps before the chequered flag, hoping to profit from fitting rain tyres, but unfortunately Pla failed to gain any advantage with these on the changing track conditions. Sunday's second race was delayed due to barrier repairs after an earlier event, as well as torrential rain.
It eventually started under the safety car but was only run for 11 laps before a three car accident caused the race to be red-flagged. It was not re-started so the final results were taken from the start of lap ten.
Pla was classified 9t h and Mondini 18th .
David Price, Team Principal, was trying hard to remain upbeat at the end of another non-points scoring weekend. "At least both our cars survived in one piece today -- which is more than some! Olivier was on the pace in the rain but, when you're behind in those conditions, you go nowhere. Yesterday's accident was expensive and, at this stage in the season, there's a fair amount of borrowing and trading of spare parts amongst the teams, but we go now to Bahrain with two complete cars which is a positive."