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pic 09/05/15 A great third place for Alexander today at Barcelona.

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Following yesterday’s qualifying session for the second race weekend of the 2015 GP2 Series the two Racing Engineering drivers, Alexander Rossi and Jordan King, were starting today’s 37 lap Feature Race from 5th and 15th places respectively. The weather at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continued to be excellent with air and track temperatures of 24° and 46° respectively. Alexander was starting on the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres whilst several of the other front runners and Jordan opted for the P Zero Yellow soft compound.

It was a clean start from all the cars and Alexander held onto 5th on the opening lap and he started the second lap right behind Mitch Evans. Over the next three laps Alexander closed the gap to the Russian Time car as both cars pulled away from Pic. The cars on the soft compound tyres began to pit on lap six and by lap eight the Racing Engineering car was up to second place, less than one second behind Evans but passing was made harder as the DRS system for all the cars was not in operation.

By lap 12 Alexander was holding the gap to Evans at one second and he was 6.5 seconds ahead of Marciello and seven laps later, lap 19 the halfway point, the gap between the two leaders was steady as both men were pulling away from Marciello. The young American continued to sit one second behind the New Zealander and on lap 26 he took his mandatory pit stop switching to the soft tyres and returning to the track in 6th place as Evans pitted on the following lap and as the Russian Time car left the pits he was now behind Alexander.

The Racing Engineering car was now lapping very quickly on his fresh tyres and Alexander was soon ahead of Lynn and Gasly as the DRS now began to work again and he was much faster than race leader Vandoorne. With seven laps to go Alexander was 3.8 seconds behind the ART car but Evans in 3rd was lapping very quickly and was just 1.7 seconds behind. With five laps remaining the gap was just one second with Evans 1.5 seconds behind, the gaps remained constant for the next two laps but with one lap to go Evans used his DRS to pass Alexander and he was forced to settle for third at the flag.


Jordan lost a place as the cars left the grid but he quickly made up ground on the cars ahead and was soon moving through them and by the second lap he was up to 11th. On lap 6 the young Englishman made his mandatory pitstop changing to the Orange hard compound Pirellis and he resumed the track in 22nd position. As the cars ahead took their stops Jordan began to move up the order and on lap 14 he was 18th but there was a big gap of 13.4 seconds to Haryanto in 17th and he was now driving a lonely race. As the race entered the last 12 laps Jordan was gaining on the cars ahead of him and by lap 29 he was 11th as several cars ahead took their pitstops but his tyres were starting to wear and he dropped back to 14th which was where he finished.

The Racing Engineering tyre strategy for Alexander proved to be an excellent choice allowing him to finish on the podium and he will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race in 6th on the reversed grid and his fast race pace on the hard compound tyres should make him a favourite to finish on the podium again. For Jordan it was a disappointing race and he will have to start from the 7th row tomorrow.
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “A good result with Alex today finishing on the podium again. Our strategy worked out quite well, even though we were stuck being Mitch for most of the race, without DRS. Alex’s pit stop was good and allowed him to jump Mitch for second. However, back on track Mitch closed in Alex and passed him with DRS on the second last lap. We were not able to fight for the win today, but it’s good to see that we beat both DAMS cars, which started the race ahead of us. As for Jordan, his starting position was not helping on a track like this, where overtaking is not easy. The pace was not good enough to make his good race strategy work out, so we need to analyse his data in detail. His start and first lap were an improvement compared to his first race weekend in Bahrain, and we have to continue with this progress. It would have been great to score with both cars again, as we did during the opening round, but it was a tough race today and we are happy with Alex’s podium finish.”

Jordan King: “My start was very good as were my first couple of laps and I was close to the top 10 and had a very good speed. Then, when I came in for my pit stop, which went smoothly, and the undercut went well. But my outright pace after the pit stop wasn’t quite there, so it didn’t make a difference to the drivers on the other strategy.”

Alexander Rossi:: “The start was really good and I knew I didn’t have to worry about the top 3 as they were on option tyres, my benchmark was Evans. It’s a pity the DRS didn’t work at this stage of the race as I think I was quicker. This forced us to stop one lap earlier to try and jump him, which we did thanks to a great pit stop. But we just ran out of tyres at the end as we had to do an extra lap compared to Mitch. It’s a great result for me and the team, another podium, and we will try to do it again tomorrow.”
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©GP2
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