TOP TEN IN VALENCIA FOR DPR The David Price Racing (DPR) racing team had their first taste of the new venue for this season, a street circuit in the Spanish city of Valencia. With drivers Diego Nunes and Michael Herck having no previous...
TOP TEN IN VALENCIA FOR DPR
The David Price Racing (DPR) racing team had their first taste of the new venue for this season, a street circuit in the Spanish city of Valencia. With drivers Diego Nunes and Michael Herck having no previous experience of the track, and the first GP2 event on a street circuit for Herck, both drivers had their best Feature race results of the season so far. Nunes recorded 10th place and Herck 12th place at the finish.
The limited track time allowed for the GP2 Series at each event, supporting the Formula One World Championship, favours the more experienced GP2 drivers, so the two DPR rookies were lying back down the order in the first two sessions, with Nunes posting 20th quickest lap in qualifying, and Herck further back with 26th fastest time.
The Feature race held today followed the Formula One qualifying session with warm temperatures and potential rain holding off. The drama started on the first lap with the field of cars fighting for track position through the initial sequence of corners. Both Nunes and Herck avoided sliding cars and gained position to cross the line in 15th and 18th places respectively after the opening lap. Further incidents on the second lap brought out the safety car for one lap of formation racing, before the field were released to return to full power. Nunes remained in 15th, with Herck improving to 17th, and both maintained position for the next few laps.
The mandatory pitstop window opened and some of the field began to come in for new tyres, while others stayed out longer, but by the time all the cars had pitted, including two clean stops for the DPR drivers, Nunes was lying in 13th place and Herck in 16th position.
As the laps counted down Nunes began to be challenged for position by Karun Chandhok and was forced to defend hard with the Indian driver finally passing on lap 24. A slide into the barriers by Andy Zuber kept Nunes in 13th place, with Herck improving to 15th position. With two laps remaining Alvaro Parente retired, and on the final lap leader Giorgio Pantano ran out of fuel as well as Chandhok, so the two young rookies improved to 10th and 12th, to take the chequered flag in these places.
Against the backdrop of the dockland harbour area the inaugural GP2 Series event at Valencia produced close racing, and plenty of excitement. While other more experienced drivers succumbed to the unique track, Nunes and Herck both completed the race distance to set themselves up for a good race tomorrow, taking their finish positions for the start.
David Price, Team Principal, summed up the weekend so far, saying "Both drivers had clean races while many others weren't able to do that, and it was good to scrape into the top ten. We need to capitalise on the finish positions for tomorrow's Sprint distance. It's not an easy track to master, but if they can keep it clean at the start there's potential for two good finishes."
The second of the two Valencia races at the Formula One Grand Prix of Europe takes place tomorrow morning, 10.30am local time, at this unique industrial setting in the docklands area of the Spanish city.