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pic 221/09/13 Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering take 3rd in the Singapore Sprint Race.

Conditions were a little easier for the drivers today in the 20 lap Sprint Race as, although the temperatures were similar...
Conditions were a little easier for the drivers today in the 20 lap Sprint Race as, although the temperatures were similar at 31° and 39° for the air and track respectively, the humidity was down to 50%. Following yesterday’s Feature Race Fabio Leimer was starting 4th on the reversed grid following his 5th place finish whilst Julián Leal was back in 25th place after his accident with Berthon for which the Frenchman had been penalised. The majority of the cars, including both of the Racing Engineering cars, were starting on the P Zero Yellow soft compound Pirellis.

Fabio made a good start as the lights went off gaining a place to 3rd into the first corner and he completed the opening lap 0.6 seconds behind Ericsson and 0.8 seconds ahead of Richelmi. The young Swiss was now driving carefully to conserve his tyres for the later stages of the race and on lap 8 he was still chasing Ericsson, 1.5 seconds behind the DAMS car and 1.7 seconds in front of Richelmi.

At 10 laps, the half-way point, the positions remained unchanged although the leading drivers, including Fabio, were now starting to improve their lap times as they began to push harder. With eight laps to go the top three cars were separated by 3.5 seconds and Ericsson and Fabio were closing on race leader Bird who responded with some quicker laps. As the race entered its closing laps and the leaders’ tyres were starting to degrade Fabio, once again thinking of his championship position, made sure of his 3rd place by opening out the gap to Richelmi in 4th to 2.7 seconds and this was to be his final position at the chequered flag.

Julián had a clean getaway but part way around the first lap contact between Coletti and Evans saw several cars spin and the Racing Engineering car was badly delayed. Julián resumed racing in 24th and was soon lapping very quickly, setting the fastest lap of the race so far on lap 2, and by lap 7 he was 21st, 0.5 seconds behind Evans and 8.4 seconds ahead of Trummer.

Lap 10 saw Julián, now lying 17th, continue his race-long battle with Evans, the Racing Engineering car just 0.7 seconds behind the Arden car and on lap 12 he passed the New Zealander for what was now 15th as several cars were forced to make pitstops for a tyre change. On lap 14 the young Colombian passed Rosenzweig to take 14th position and he was just 0.6 seconds behind Clos. Two laps later Julián passed both Clos and Ghirelli for 12th position and he was now right on the gearbox of Haryanto but there was not enough time left to gain any more positions.

Fabio keeps his lead in the 2013 GP2 Series Championship by seven points following another strong race and the Championship is now, realistically, between Fabio and Bird. Julián drove a great race to finish 12th after starting from 25th on the grid. The Racing Engineering team now return to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the final round of the 2013 GP2 series at Abu Dhabi on the 1st-3rd of November whilst the cars will be going straight to Abu Dhabi.
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “Race 2 today in Singapore today was positive in the sense that Fabio finished on the podium earning some good points, which are important for the fight for the championship. Julian had to start from the back of the field due to the accident in race 1, so he fought his way back through the field. It's a pity he was blocked when he was overtaking on the outside and cars in front of him were involved in an incident. He was in traffic at that moment and had to fight his way back. He was able to push really hard to catch up the group and it's nice to see him overtake other cars and fight throughout the entire race. In Fabio's case we have to admit that we were not the quickest today. However, we deserve to be on the podium and we will work hard to be even stronger for the next event to be able to bring the title home.”

Fabio Leimer:
  “I think today's race was OK with a good start, where I went from P4 to P3. After that it was a quite boring race as everyone was just following the car in front with everyone saving tyres until the end. That's actually how the race finished; I was in third position after turn 1 and finished in third position. It was exactly the same for the top 3 positions. It was nevertheless an important race as Sam won and I needed to score as many points as possible. I think we can be happy with P3 and I now continue in the lead and I’m looking forward to racing in Abu Dhabi.”
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