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pic 29/06/13 A battling 4th for Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering at today’s Silverstone Feature Race.

The Silverstone weather had greatly improved for today’s 29 lap Feature Race...
The Silverstone weather had greatly improved for today’s 29 lap Feature Race following yesterday’s rain affected practice and qualifying with the track temperature at 32°, the hottest it had been all weekend.

As the lights went off Fabio initially made a good start holding onto 6th place but he lost several positions on the opening corners dropping back to 9th but he quickly passed Cecotto to lie 8th at the end of the opening lap. The Racing Engineering car was soon on the gearbox of Calado and looking for a way past but as the two cars fought for position Dillmann began to close on both of them.

The mandatory pitstops began on lap 6 and Fabio, who was now lying 4th as the cars ahead stopped, was in two laps later resuming the track in 13th. The young Swiss was now 2.2 seconds behind Nasr and 3.6 seconds ahead of Palmer and Fabio very quickly closed the gap to the Carlin car and was soon ahead. By lap 17, as the cars ahead made their stops, Fabio was lying 6th which by lap 20 was 4th as Richelmi made a late stop and Evans received a drive-through penalty.

With 7 laps to go Fabio was under heavy pressure from Dillmann who had made a late pitstop and, as a result, was on much fresher tyres and the Russian Time driver found a way past the Racing Engineering car on its older rubber. As the race entered the closing laps Fabio closed in on Coletti and Dillmann who were slowing each other down as they fought for 3rd and, as Dillmann passed Coletti, Fabio closed in on the Rapax car and on the final lap the Racing Engineering car dived up the inside of Coletti and although he made contact he took the 4th position he held to the flag.

Julián lost two places to drop to 13th on the opening lap; he quickly regained a place but was in turn passed by Frijns and Palmer to be 14th on lap 3. The Racing Engineering driver now began to increase his pace; taking his pitstop on lap10 he dropped to 16th, but he was soon making up places as the cars ahead stopped and by lap21 he was lying 10th almost two seconds behind Frijns.

The young Colombian now began to close on and apply pressure to the Hilmer Motorsport car and he was soon ahead to move up to 9th place, which became an excellent 8th as Coletti retired on the final lap.

Following the race Fabio received a penalty of 10 grid positions although he keeps his 4th place and the points scored from today’s race. Starting at the front Julián will be looking to score his first GP2 podium finish tomorrow, for Fabio it will be a hard task to get up into the points but he will try his hardest as always.
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “We scored points with both cars today, which was the goal given their respective starting positions. The start and first laps of both drivers didn't work out too well, but they were able to recover positions during the race thanks to some overtaking and good strategies. Unfortunately Fabio received a 10 position grid penalty for tomorrow's race following his contact with Coletti on the final lap. As for Julian, after a slower start to the race, he showed a strong pace as the race continued. After some nice overtaking manoeuvres and a good race strategy, he was able to finish in a good 8th position. This allows Julian to start tomorrow's race from the front and we really hope he will be able to translate this starting position into his first GP2 podium.”

Fabio Leimer:
  “I had a pretty bad start today and lost quite a lot of ground through being too slow. In turn 1 I had a slower Calado ahead of me and in turn 3 I was almost squeezed between two other cars. I really wanted to finish today's race, so I lost some positions. On my first set of tyres I was stuck behind Calado, who had some problems. When he pitted I set some fast laps before I came in for my pit stop and I was able to pass Calado in the pits and when I rejoined the race, I had no one ahead of me, which allowed me to save tires and drive at my own rhythm. This allowed me to still be in a position to attack towards the end of the race. Unfortunately I collided with Coletti, who visibly struggled with his car, which resulted in a penalty for me. Starting further back is not at all good as in the sprint race it is more difficult to recover positions. But we will see and hope that in the end we are able to achieve a good result.”

Julián Leal: “Today's race was quite difficult because at the start I told my engineer that I wanted a change of the balance to the car and this decision was not the best one and I struggled during the beginning of the race. But towards the end the car felt better and the balance improved quite a lot. From then on I had some good laps and I had a good pace. I overtook some cars and was able to finish in P8, which gives me the chance to start tomorrow's race from the front. We have a good car for tomorrow and I really hope that everything falls into place and I can achieve a really good result.”

Race 2: Sun 30 Jun 2013, 09:35 (GMT+1)
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