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pic 21/08/15 Jordan King qualifies 4th today at Spa Francorchamps.

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It was sunny today at Spa for practice and qualifying with air and track temperatures of 20° and 30° respectively for the forty five minute morning practice session and all the cars were running the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres. The nature of the Spa circuit meant that a good aerodynamic balance between the high speed sections and the medium and high speed corners is very important for a good lap time.

Both Racing Engineering drivers took to the track as the session started and both men were immediately on the pace with Alexander Rossi going fastest on his first flying lap with a time of 1:58.091s and then improving to 1:57.731s on his fifth lap. Jordan King was almost as fast going 3rd with a time of 1:58.300s and then dropping to 1:58.188s on his seventh lap. Both cars returned to the pits after 15 minutes for some set-up changes, returning to the track with twenty minutes still to go for some more laps. The team then taking a final chance to adjust their cars with ten minutes left on the clock but a yellow flag in the dying minutes meant that neither driver improved on their earlier times.

It was hotter for the thirty minute qualifying session with air and track temperatures now at 23° and 40° respectively and all the cars were now using the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres as they went for a fast time for the grid for tomorrow’s Feature Race. Jordan and Alexander were both immediately on the pace as the session got underway with the young Briton going 5th on 1:57.252s with his American teammate right behind in 6th on 1:57.313s. Both drivers improved their times on their next flying laps with Jordan setting a 1:57.075s and Alexander on 1:57.271s.

With half the session completed both Racing Engineering cars returned to the pits for some final adjustments and fresh tyres before a final effort to improve their times further in the final ten minutes. Alexander went faster to go 6th on 1:56.845s and Jordan was really flying on his first visit to Spa in a GP2 car and he went 3rd with a time of 1:56.625s. Neither driver was able to improve on their times any further so Jordan will start from the second row on the grid in 4th place with Alexander starting from the fourth row in 8th position and both men will be looking to finish on the podium tomorrow.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “We are happy to see Jordan continue his progress and qualify in P4. This weekend he was in the top 10 from free practice on and made the step necessary to fight for a top spot in qualifying. Alex, on the other hand, had a good free practice, but was not able to carry this over to qualifying. Nothing went really wrong, but we are missing a tenth here and there and need to analyse in detail where to gain it. Even though the result is not what we aimed for, P8 should allow Alex to fight for good points tomorrow and we hope to see Jordan finishing on the podium.”

Jordan King: “Practice went well and I was quite confident with where I needed to find time and with my overall feeling. Going into qualifying I was confident in what I needed to do to go fast. With the changes we made after free practice, the car felt good on the first set of tyres, but there was potential for improved performance. On the second set the changes we made definitely helped, but there was maybe a bit more we could have done for the last couple of tenths. I have a good starting position and a good chance to finish on the podium.”

Alexander Rossi:: “A disappointing session considering where we were in free practice. Finding a gap in both sessions proved to be challenging and made brining the tyres up to temperature difficult. I am really looking forward to tomorrow as it’s a great track to race on and we are still in a position to fight for a podium.”
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