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pic 19/04/15 Alexander scores more points today at Bahrain.

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Following yesterday’s fantastic Feature Race when Alexander Rossi and Jordan King came 3rd and 4th on their Racing Engineering debut, and in the case of Jordan his GP2 debut, the two men would line up 6th in the case of Alexander and 5th for Jordan for the 23 lap Sprint Race. Today’s weather was hot once again with air and track temperatures of 29° and 50° respectively and all the cars would be starting on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres.

Both racing Engineering cars lost places at the start as Berthon was slow away ahead of them and Alexander found himself in 11th but he was able to pass Canamasas and Jordan to be 9th at the end of lap one and the young American was able to gain another spot on lap two. Alexander was now 0.8 seconds behind Vandoorne and pulling away slightly from Berthon in 9th. The Racing Engineering car was now involved in an intense battle for 4th with just three seconds between Visoiu in 4th and Alexander in 7th.

Lap 10 saw Alexander pass Evans who had a puncture and Leal to take 5th spot and at the half-way point, twelve laps, he was just one second behind Vandoorne. As the drivers found their tyres beginning to wear the front runners started to close up and Alexander was able to take Visoiu to move up to 4th and he was still just one second behind Vandoorne. With six laps to go the Racing Engineering car was now in pursuit of Matsushita who had been passed by Vandoorne and with four laps remaining he passed the ART car to take 3rd and he was lapping faster than the two leaders but Berthon in 4th was closing in and as the cars started the final lap the Lazarus car used DRS to pass Alexander and the Racing Engineering driver had to settle for 4th.

Following Jordan’s slow start he was in 11th place but he passed two cars to go to 9th but he almost immediately lost places to Markelov, Stanaway and Canamasas to be 13th on lap two. On lap 4 he was pushed wide by Canamasas and he was unable to avoid contact with the MP Motorsport car but the young Briton was able to continue in 12th spot and by lap seven the Racing Engineering car was 0.4 seconds behind Stanaway and 0.5 seconds ahead of De Jong.

Jordan soon dealt with Stanaway and then Markelov and with Evans pitting he was now 9th and chasing Berthon who was four seconds ahead. As the race entered the final laps Jordan closed right up on Negrao and Visoiu but was unable to gain any further places and he finished in 9th position.

A very good weekend for Racing Engineering with a 3rd and two 4th positions and both Alexander and Jordan being fast in both qualifying and the two races. The Spanish team will now be looking forward to the next round on home ground at Barcelona on the 8th to 10th of May.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “The results of today’s race in Bahrain are slightly disappointing considering our starting positions, and despite the fact that we finished with both cars in the top 10 and scored points with Alex in 4th place. I think we mainly lost at the start where both cars dropped back several positions, but had a good mid race pace. It’s a pity we lost the podium position to Berthon in the closing laps, but he was the absolute fastest car on track at this moment. Before this we were on the pace with Vandoorne and Haryanto, or even better, which is encouraging. Overall the weekend is quite positive. We leave Bahrain as second in the teams’ championship even though this was just the first round of the season. There are still several point we can work on and improve, which will be our target for Barcelona. We will do our best to fight for top positions and score points in the championship battle again.”

Jordan King: “The start was not great and I lost a lot of places so I was out of position and I kept being attacked from behind so that wasn’t so good. The speed in the middle of the race was good and I was able to overtake several cars and progress up to ninth but when I caught the group fighting for 6th, 7th and 8th I had used my tyres up in getting ahead of the other cars so I had nothing left to mount a second challenge. The weekend has been a learning curve but I am happy with how it has gone, I finished both races and all in all it has been very encouraging and I’m happy with how I’ve gone on a very tough circuit.”

Alexander Rossi:: “The start wasn’t good which put us on the back foot and from that point I had to fight all the way through the race while looking after the tyres. I think, to be honest, we did a good job. We are still not quite where we need to be but we got more points today which shows we are competitive, we just need to work out where we are short and take that forward to the next race. I am very pleased that we were able to do what we did and the team did a great job so looking ahead to Barcelona I’m very confident.”
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©GP2
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