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pic 04/07/15 A superb second place today for Alexander Rossi in the Silverstone Feature Race.

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The good weather the GP2 teams had enjoyed at Silverstone for Friday’s practice and qualifying continued today for the twenty nine lap Feature Race with air and track temperatures of 23° and 42° respectively. The two Racing Engineering drivers, Alexander Rossi and Jordan King qualified in 4th and 13th positions and Alexander was starting on the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres with Jordan opting for the softer P Zero White medium compound.

As the lights went off Alexander got away cleanly but dropped a place to Matsushita into the first corner but an incident down the field caused the Safety Car to be employed. Racing resumed on lap three and the Racing Engineering car was immediately fighting for position with Vandoorne and both men gained a place when Mutsushita retired. By lap nine Alexander was right on the gearbox of the ART car and with the advantage of DRS the American was pressurising Belgian driver all round the track.

By lap fourteen, as the cars approached the half-way point, there was a tense battle for 2nd with Stanaway, Vandoorne and Alexander separated by less than one second. On lap 16 the ART car ran a little wide and Alexander immediately took advantage to pass Vandoorne to move up to 3rd and he was now right behind Stanaway and he used DRS to pass the Status GP car in a beautifully timed overtaking manoeuvre. His next target was race leader Sirotkin who was eight seconds ahead and on lap 20 he took his mandatory stop and once again there was a great stop by the Racing Engineering team and he resumed the race still in second place but he was closing the gap to Sirotkin and with six laps remaining the gap was 5.8 seconds. The two men were now setting almost identical lap times and as the race came to a close Alexander had to settle for a fighting 2nd place.

Jordan made a great start passing Lynn and Rowland to lie 11th as the Safety Car took to the track and the young Briton was soon looking to move further up the field and on lap five he was ahead of Leal to take 10th. Jordan took his mandatory pitstop on lap 6 and a great job by the Racing Engineering team saw him pass Yelloly in the pits. By lap ten Jordan was lying 16th, first of the cars that had pitted and he had Yelloly right behind who was using his DRS to close in on the Racing Engineering car but Jorden was driving faultlessly. Both men were now lapping much faster than the cars ahead and Jordan was soon ahead of Negrao and Stockinger and he was now 13th with all the cars ahead still needing to pit.

With seven laps to go Jordan was lying in 7th place but with cars ahead still needing to stop he was effectively lying in an amazing 3rd spot but he had done a long stint on his tyres and degradation was now a problem. As the race entered its final five laps the Racing Engineering driver was now battling with Vandoorne who was on fresher, softer tyres and heading into Copse he was unable to keep the ART behind. Jordan was now battling with Gasly and Lynn who also had the advantage of the fresher, softer tyres but Jordan was driving a great defensive race however, with two laps to go, he was passed by the two DAMS cars to lie 6th and despite several attempts from Pic he held on to the position but as they entered the last corner the Frenchman pushed Jordan around into a spin dropping him to a distraught 22nd position.

A very mixed day for the Racing Engineering team with Alexander in a tremendous second place and Jordan, aided by a great pitstop, in a hard fought 6th until an error by Pic ruined the race for him, but both men drove very well in the quick and consistent cars the Racing Engineering team provided them with. Alexander will start seventh on tomorrow’s reversed grid for the Sprint Race and will be looking for another podium finish with Jordan right at the back and with a huge job to do to get into the points.
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: A very strong race from Alexander and Jordan today and the pace was great for both cars. We had a different tyre strategy for the cars because of the difference in their starting positions and it worked out quite well. Alexander did a good job on track even though he dropped down to P5 at the start but he had a good pace and did very good moves on Vandoorne and Stanaway. Jordan too had some good opening laps and we jumped a position at the pitstop, he then had clear air ahead of him and he really used it putting some good laps together and keeping the rest of the field behind him and the strategy bought him up to the top spots but Pic hit him in the rear just before the chequered flag when he was sixth and would have been third on tomorrow’s reversed grid. Instead he spun and could not finish which was a pity especially after all the effort Jordan put in, driving a strong and consistent race, defending well. Alexander deserved to finish second, he drove well on the option tyres in the last laps and we are really happy at this strong performance and we are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jordan King: “Other than Bahrain where we got a good result this has been our best race all year. I really worked hard and listened to what the engineers said to me and we’ve gone out and executed our strategy perfectly. When I got up to third we knew I was going to have to fight some option runners and I did a good job, a few got past but sixth from thirteenth would have been a great result. I would have got some good points and started at the front for tomorrow’s race but you can’t help it if someone makes a mistake like that so we ended up not getting a great result but I think from a personal effort and achievement point of view I think we’ve done a very good job, it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t, in effect, bring any silverware home.”

Alexander Rossi:: “It was good today, the start was a little bit tricky, I had a lot more wheelspin than I was expecting. I tried to fight Stoffel on the first lap but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get by and then we both settled into the race and focussing on our own pace and not getting caught up with anyone else. Then it got to the point with different tyre strategies that those on the option tyres started to come back at us and close the gap so I had to start pushing. I forced the issue a little with Stoffel at Turn 4 and then passed Stanaway on the next lap, then I could push and open up a gap and make my pitstop, the team made a great job with that, and then it was a case of consolidating second place as Sirotkin was too far ahead. I think this was our best race of the year in terms of how we looked after the tyres and managed our race and it’s a big confidence boost for everyone for the future.”
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©GP2
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