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pic 24/07/15 Jordan King qualifies sixth today at the Hungaroring.

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It was sunny today at the Hungaroring for practice and qualifying with very high air and track temperatures of 29° and 49° respectively for the forty five minute morning practice session and all the cars were running the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres. The nature of the Hungaroring circuit meant that, with overtaking not easy, a good setup and a high grid position was important.

The two Racing Engineering drivers, Alexander Rossi and Jordan King, were amongst the first cars on track and Alexander was immediately on the pace setting a time of 1:30.986s to go 4th fastest on his first flying lap and he improved to 1:29.971s to go 2nd. Jordan was also going very quickly and his second flying lap was good enough 5th with a time of 1:30.244s. After fifteen minutes both cars were back in the pits for set-up adjustments and Jordan returned to the track with twenty-one minutes remaining with Alexander joining him eight minutes later. Jordan improved his fastest time to 1:30.073s before returning to the pits for more adjustments and resuming the track with six minutes to go. Neither driver improved in the final minutes so they finished the session with Alexander 11th and Jordan 12th.

The thirty minute qualifying session took place in almost identical conditions to those in the morning and Alexander lead the cars out on track with all the drivers now using the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres as they now looked for a fast lap for tomorrow’s Feature Race grid. The young American went fastest on his first flying lap with a time of 1:29.497s and Jordan was right behind in 5th on 1:29.645s. Alexander improved to 1:29.023s on his fifth lap and then Jordan went quicker still at 1:28.893s and as the session approached the twelve minute mark most of the cars returned to the pits for final adjustments and a new set of soft compound tyres.

With nine minutes still to go Alexander and Jordan returned to the track and the young Briton moved up to 7th on 1:28.659s and as the session came to an end he improved again to 1:28.471s to finish 6th and although Alexander was able to reduce his lap to 1:28.807s he had to settle for 11th position.

Tomorrow’s Feature race will see Jordan start from the third row and, given the pace he has shown in recent races, he will be looking to finish on the podium while for Alexander a sixth row start will be lower than he wanted but he will drive as hard as ever to score as many points as possible.
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©GP2
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Team Comments:

Thomas Lassus, Race Engineer: “This wasn’t an easy day for us and we have done quite a lot of work in both sessions. The result on Alexander’s car is disappointing. Jordan’s starting position, on the other hand, is very encouraging and we will aim to have good races tomorrow with both cars, especially given the race pace we had in free practice. We therefore look forward to having both our drivers, Alex from P11 and Jordan from P6, move forward. We know we can recover a lot of positions with both drivers. Racing at the Hungaroring usually produces tough and exciting races, so a lot of things can change, and, given the heat, tyre management will be crucial.”

Jordan King: “I was leaving Silverstone being very confident in myself, but I felt that I still had to prove something in qualifying. Today’s free practice went very well from a data collection point of view, we learned a lot and that definitely helped us in qualifying. I might not have been as quick as I wanted, but by the end of the session I felt we had a good car. Into qualifying I was 9th on the first set of tyres and felt reasonably good. It was a tough call to choose what to change on the car’s balance for the second run. We did improve, but could have done even more, but still it is 6th position, my joint best qualifying in GP2, so I am reasonably happy and we had a good race pace in Silverstone, so I am confident we’ll have a strong race.”

Alexander Rossi:: “Generally it was difficult in both sessions to find a car I was comfortable with. But as we’ve shown the past, moving forward has been a strong suit of ours and we will look to do that tomorrow.”
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