Upping the pace The second round the GP3 Series took place in Istanbul. In Turkey, Doru Sechelariu, Stefano Coletti and Jim Pla confirmed the promising level of performance of the Tech 1 Racing team. Their next objective is to score the French...
Upping the pace
The second round the GP3 Series took place in Istanbul. In Turkey, Doru Sechelariu, Stefano Coletti and Jim Pla confirmed the promising level of performance of the Tech 1 Racing team. Their next objective is to score the French squad's first podium as soon as possible in the championship.
The launch of the GP3 Series went off well in Barcelona where Jean-Eric Vergne scored the Tech 1 Racing team's first points by finishing fifth in the first race. The second round in Istanbul saw a couple of new drivers join up with Sechelariu: Stefano Coletti from Monaco and Frenchman Jim Pla. Coletti had already driven the car in winter testing and Pla was making his debut.
In free practice, the Rumanian was immediately at home on the fast Turkish circuit setting the twelfth-quickest time. Coletti and Pla were sixteenth and nineteen fastest respectively. "We did a good job in free practice, said Simon Abadie. "We upped out pace and improved our stability. Stefano and Jim had to cover the highest number of laps possible as they lacked track time in relation to the other drivers. This was especially true for Jim as it was his first time in the car."
In the only qualifying session, Doru, Stefano and Jim put on a good overall show but did not meet with all that much success. Sechelariu was on the pace of the leaders until he got caught up in traffic and could not do any better than nineteenth. Pla made an error on his best flyer and ended up fourteenth. Coletti was slowed by a problem on the front rollbar of his car and finished the session in twenty-third place. "The times did not reflect our level of performance. Our three drivers were quick, and I think they could all have finished in the top ten had we not been hit by various glitches," commented Abadie.
Pla's first race couldn't have got off to a worse start as he was immobilized by an electronic problem. Sechelariu and Coletti both drove steadily and overtook several cars. The Rumanian finished ninth showing his true potential and the Monegasque retired after a collision.
Things went off better in the second race. Sechelariu again finished ninth. Coletti, and Pla, who started from the rear of the grid, moved up steadily through the field. Stefano crossed the line in fourteenth place and Pla in twentieth. "Even if we haven't scored points it's been a promising weekend," summed up Abadie. "We showed a good level of performance and we proved that we have the potential. This season, Doru Sechelariu is here to learn and he's made big steps forward since Barcelona and he almost scored his first points. Jim Pla and Stefano Coletti for their first weekend in GP3 were not far off the pace of the quickest. All we need now is to be a bit faster in qualifying, and I reckon it won't be long before one of our drivers is on the podium. In Valencia, I hope!"
The third round of the season will take place on 25th June in the streets of Valencia in Spain.
-source: tech 1 racing