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pic 05/09/15 Alexander Rossi takes a stunning victory today in the Monza Feature Race.

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The weather today for the 30 lap Feature Race was similar to that in yesterday’s qualifying with the air and track temperatures now at 22° and 37° respectively. Following yesterday’s qualifying, penalties for technical infringements were applied to two of the cars ahead of the Racing Engineering drivers which meant that Alexander Rossi was promoted to 8th on the grid and Jordan to 15th. The Racing Engineering team opted to start both cars on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres and then change to the hard compound at the mandatory pitstop.

As the lights went off Alexander initially lost a place to Marciello but he quickly regained the place and he also passed Pic, Stanaway and Haryanto during the course of the lap to cross the line in 5th right behind Vandoorne. On lap three an accident to Van Buuren caused a Safety Car period that lasted for two laps and on lap six Alexander moved up to 4th as Vandoorne took his mandatory pitstop. The Racing Engineering car stopped on lap nine to change to the hard compound tyres and he returned to the track in 15th. As the cars ahead pitted the young American was soon up to 12th and then contact between Lynn and Sirotkin saw the Racing Engineering car in 9th with seven of the cars ahead still to take their pitstop.

By lap fifteen, the half-way point of the race, Alexander was fighting with Vandoorne and he was just 0.6 seconds behind the ART car and 4.3 seconds ahead of Cecotto and one lap later he pulled alongside Vandoorne and he then passed the Belgian into turn one however the ART car regained the advantage into the next corner. Over the next five lap Alexander put huge pressure on Vandoorne but the two cars were very evenly matched. On lap twenty four he used his DRS to pull out of the slipstream of the ART car along the main straight and take the lead under braking into turn one. Alexander slowly pulled away and with three laps remaining the gap was 0.7 seconds but Vandoorne had the advantage of DRS. With two laps remaining Alexander set his fastest lap of the race so far as he opened out the gap to 0.9 seconds and on the next lap it was 1.1 seconds with the advantage of moving out of DRS range. The final lap saw Alexander make no mistakes and he crossed the finishing line ahead of Vandoorne to take a wonderful victory.

Jordan got away cleanly from the start and despite making contact with Marcello he completed the opening lap in 15th spot behind Cecotto and ahead of Markelov, he then lost a place to Marciello and by lap eight he was lying tenth as cars ahead pitted. Jordan pitted on lap eleven, returning to the track where he was quickly involved in a tense battle with Evans, Marciello, Haryanto and Leal for 13th despite his car suffering bodywork damage from his earlier contact with Marciello. On lap nineteen the Racing Engineering car lost a place to Evans but he had a four second gap to Marciello and with six laps remaining the young Briton was up to 8th but Markelov, who was on the softer tyres, was closing in and he lost the place on the following lap. Jordan now had to be aware of Binder who was also on the fresher, softer tyres but on lap twenty eight he was able to pass Visoiu into the first chicane to regain 8th, he then set his fastest lap of the race on the final lap to cross the line in 8th spot from 15th on the grid.

A great result for Racing Engineering following a disappointing qualifying yesterday with Alexander driving a faultless race to take the win and Jordan moving up the field well despite the damage to his car sustained on the opening lap. Tomorrow’s Sprint Race will see Alexander start from 8th and Jordan from pole position on the reversed grid and both men will be looking for another Racing Engineering one/two.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “A very strong result today, especially considering the starting positions of our guys. The hard work late last night paid off in today’s race and I would like to congratulate our engineers for the cars they put on track today as well as the mechanics for the reliable cars and swift pit stops. The drivers did a good job as well in turning yesterday’s disappointing qualifying results into these great race positions. It was a tough, but very satisfying race on this legendary race track.”

Jordan King: “My start was pretty good and everything happened into the first chicane. The first couple of laps were very tough having to defend, fight and overtake, but once the race settled down, my speed was very good and I managed to work my way up to P8. I think I could have pushed a bit harder on the prime tyre as I still had some speed left at the end. I am happy with 8th as we worked very hard overnight and found some good pace from the car. Tomorrow starting from the front I am confident I can get a good result.”

Alexander Rossi:: “After yesterday I think this is an amazing accomplishment and it’s a testament to the work that the team put in overnight. I am very proud of everyone and want to thank them for their continual effort. Tomorrow we are trying to go forward from 8th again.”
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