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pic 05/07/13 6th for Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering in today’s qualifying at the Nürburgring.

The weather at the Nürburgring was unexpectedly cool at the start of the 30 minute free practice session...
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The weather at the Nürburgring was unexpectedly cool at the start of the 30 minute free practice session with plenty of cloud and an air temperature of 18° and a track temperature of 25°. Most of the teams opted to use the medium compound Pirelli tyres and the low track temperature meant that the tyres were taking an additional lap to get up to their working temperature.

Both Fabio Leimer and Julián Leal took to the track as practice began and both men used the session to setup their cars rather than go for any really fast laps. Fabio was quickly on the pace with a lap of 1:40.867s to go 6th fastest and he soon improved this to a 1:40.304s to go 3rd whilst Julian was 12th with a time of 1:40.941s. Both Racing Engineering cars returned to the pits with half the session gone for further set-up changes but with neither driver trying to set any faster laps they finished the session with 4th for Fabio and 16th for Julián.

The weather was still cloudy and cool with air and track temperatures of 19° and 29° respectively as the 30 minute qualifying session got under way and with the cars now all running the Pirelli Super Soft compound. Both of the Racing Engineering cars took to the track as the session began and Fabio was quickly setting some quick times to go 7th with a lap of 1:39.554s which he almost immediately improved to 1:39.358s. As the session approached the halfway point Fabio pitted for some final adjustments before returning to the track with 11 minutes remaining. Once again the young Swiss was amongst the fastest drivers and he improved his time further to set a time of 1:38.997s, good enough for 6th on the grid and just half a second away from the quickest time.

Julián first fast lap was a 1:40.190s which put him 16th fastest and he too returned to the pits at the half waypoint for some further setup changes and, with 9 minutes left, he returned to the track and lowered his time to 1:39.986s which proved to be his fastest time of the session which, although less than one second slower than his teammate, left him in 24th position on the grid.

Tomorrow’s 34 lap Feature Race will see Fabio in a good position to fight for a podium position and increase his points score in the 2013 GP2 Series whilst for Julián it will be a very difficult task to get into the points, but the young Colombian will fight as hard as he always does.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “Today was a big challenge for everyone as it was the first time we have used the super-soft compound at the Nürburgring. Fabio managed to set the sixth fastest time, which is reasonably good as he finished the session ahead of most of the drivers he is fighting against for the championship title. We are disappointed by Julian's result, as a much better position was possible for him. But traffic and a very limited amount of flying laps possible on the super-soft tyres prevented him from using the car and tyres at their best. Tomorrow's race will be a different scenario as everyone has to perform well over the entire race distance with the tyres available. We expect Fabio Leimer to score a good amount of points and Julian Leal to make up positions.”

Fabio Leimer:
  “I think that today I did the best that was possible. We estimated the difference between the medium and super-soft tyres to be quite a lot, but there wasn't much difference and I’m therefore satisfied with the 6th position in qualifying and we will work on some improvements for tomorrow. From 6th place everything is possible in the Feature Race.”

Julián Leal: “Today's qualifying was not as good as expected. Whenever I improved during the session I encountered traffic. So I was not able to set a fast lap time when my tyres were at their best. Nevertheless, I have to improve in some corners. I hope to have a good race tomorrow and will try to do my best to make up as many positions as possible.”

Timetable:

Race 1: Sat 06 Jul 2013, 15:40 (GMT+2)
Race 2: Sun 07 Jul 2013, 10:30 (GMT+2)

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