PODIUM FINISH CELEBRATIONS FOR DPR IN SPA David Price Racing celebrated the team's first podium finish of the season with Andy Soucek finishing second in today's Sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps, the penultimate event of this year's championship.
PODIUM FINISH CELEBRATIONS FOR DPR IN SPA
David Price Racing celebrated the team's first podium finish of the season with Andy Soucek finishing second in today's Sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps, the penultimate event of this year's championship. Team mate Christian Bakkerud had a good start to the race, but problems with the rear of the car caused a mid-race spin and retirement from the race on lap 12.
This weekend has produced the best results of the season for DPR, with Soucek snatching the team's first points finish with a run to sixth place yesterday. Starting from third on the grid for the start today, Soucek quickly stamped his authority on the race, with an electrifying move off the line and into the lead at the first corner.
He kept ahead of his rivals as the race progressed, pulling out a 1.5 second lead over Karun Chandhok in second place. Chandhok fought back and as the race reached the final laps, the two were running close. A run down to the first corner was an opportunity for Chandhok to use the tow from the front straight to pass Soucek and the DPR driver dropped back to second while Chandhok took the lead.
Soucek was determined to stay ahead of the remainder of the field. He held off championship contender Lucas di Grassi in the final stages, to maintain his position until the chequered flag and take a well-deserved second place finish, the first podium finish of the season for Soucek and the DPR team.
Bakkerud made a good start initially, but in the melee of the first corner scrum, he was squeezed out and had to back out to avoid an accident, although he was tapped from behind. He had dropped back to 15th position at the end of the first lap. Undeterred, the Dane fought back, improving to 12th place as the race progressed, but then dropping back as he battled with a close pack of rivals, while struggling with rear grip problems. However, at half distance Bakkerud's day was finished with a spin off track after the rear of the car stepped out on him.
Soucek said of his weekend, "I'm going to be smiling for the rest of the day! It's been the best weekend of the season and I'm very pleased for everyone at the DPR team. I think we all felt that this should have come a lot sooner, but we didn't have the luck. With a points finish yesterday we were pleased, but it's even better to have topped this with a podium result."
Bakkerud was pleased to be fully recovered and commented, "I was pleased to be back driving again and I didn't have any problems with my back, which is good. Yesterday we had a good car, but after being punted by Rodriguez I was always going to struggle to get into the top ten. Today I struggled with the car. I'm not sure whether the tap at the start created problems with the rear of the car, but the team will have a look when the car gets back to the workshop and then we'll know more"
David Price, Team Principal, smiled, "It's been a great weekend for DPR and everyone in the team deserves this podium today. Andy drove really well, particularly coming through to take the lead at the start with so much pressure from the rest of the field. It was disappointing for Christian not to reach the finish, as he'd been racing hard and just didn't get the breaks this weekend."
The final round of the 2007 GP2 Series takes place at Valencia, Spain, from 28 - 30 September, and is the only event of the year that is not supporting the Formula One World Championship, but gives GP2 headline status.