|The weather was much improved for today’s 18 lap Sprint Race and, although cold, there were sunny skies and with only a few damp patches out on the circuit off the racing line.
Dani Clos made a good start but locked his brakes going into the first corner and lost a place to a very fast starting Cecotto. At the end of the first lap the Racing Engineering car held on to 4th, 0.7 seconds behind Fauzy and 0.4 ahead of Filippi.
The racing for the top places was very close and on laps 2 and 3 Clos lost places to Filippi and Grosjean respectively but with a gap of only 2.7 seconds between 2nd and 7th there were still plenty of opportunities to gain positions.
Lap 5 saw Bianchi briefly pass Clos but the young Spaniard fought back to regain the place a few corners later and the six cars fighting for second were still tied together with all the drivers trying to pass the car ahead without making any errors and losing any places.
Christian Vietoris found himself held up at the start by one of the cars ahead and made a slow getaway loosing several places into the first corner and at the end of lap 1 he was lying 11th, 0.6 seconds behind Valsecchi and 0.1 ahead of Bird. Over the next few laps Vietoris was battling hard with the cars around him and on lap 4 he was passed by Bird but the young German stayed on the gearbox of the British driver.
On lap 7 a big accident to Leimer saw the Safety Car deployed and it was lap 11 before racing resumed. At the restart Clos gained a place when Fauzy ran wide to take 5th and he was now involved in a tense battle with Cecotto ahead and Bianchi behind. On lap 12 the young Spaniard lost a place to Bianchi and he was now fighting with Grosjean as the two cars passed and re-passed each other.
Clos gained a place as he passed Cecotto into the last corner on lap 13 but lost the place again into turn one and in the confusion Bird also got ahead. In the last few laps Clos was fighting for 6th with Cecotto and Carroll and on lap 15 he passed the Venezuelan for 6th place, the position he would hold to the end of the race.
Vietoris was running with Valsecchi and Herck after the restart and on lap 14 he lost a place to Herck but he regained 13th place on the following lap when he demoted Herck again. The German held onto his place for the remaining two laps to finish just a few tenths behind Ericsson.
Not the result that Racing Engineering were looking for after yesterday’s successes but both Clos and Vietoris battled hard and never gave up in the race. The whole Racing Engineering Team will now be setting their sights on the final race of the season, Monza, in two weeks’ time.