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pic 21/11/15 Jordan King in the points today for Racing Engineering at the Bahrain Sprint Race.

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For the third day in succession the weather at the Sakhir International Circuit was warm although cooler than on Friday and Saturday with air and track temperatures of 24° and 26° respectively. Following yesterday’s Feature Race Jordan King was starting from 9th position and Alexander Rossi, who dropped out of a potential podium position due to a late pitstop following contact with another car, was back in 18th position with a lot of work to do to get into the points. All the cars were starting on the Pirelli medium compound tyres for the 23 lap Sprint Race.

All the cars got away from the grid but into the first corner contact between Matsushita and Haryanto saw several cars, including Jordan, forced to run wide off the track and the young Englishman was relegated to 16th place. Another incident further round the lap between Binder and Rowland saw the Safety Car deployed whilst Rowland’s car was removed.

As the Safety Car returned to the pits Jordan was in a group of cars but contact with de Jong slowed him and he lost a place to Nato and in an effort to repass the Frenchman he made contact damaging his front wing but despite this he was soon ahead of the MP Motorsport car. By lap eleven Jordan, in 14th, was pulling away from the chasing cars and he was now looking to close on Malja who was one second ahead. Jordan quickly closed the gap and passed the Rapax car and he then passed Canamasas to move up to 12th. With just five laps remaining Jordan was now in 10th as he passed Latifi and he was just 1.6 seconds behind his teammate and with two laps to go he had closed up to Alexander and with the American suffering badly from tyre wear, as were many of the cars on track, Jordan was able to move up to 8th. Jordan was now flying as he gained 7th and with one lap to go he made a great move on Gasly to take a fighting 6th at the flag.

Alexander got a good start and he was up to 13th as the Safety Car came out and when racing resumed on lap four the Racing Engineering driver was looking to gain positions as quickly as possible and he gained a place immediately as he passed Malja but he was suffering from damage to the front wing sustained at the start.

By lap five Alexander was in a large group of cars and he was right on the gearbox of Latifi and on lap seven he passed the Canadian driver using DRS and he was now chasing Gasly, and on lap nine he was just 0.5 seconds behind the DAMS driver but the young American had to back off a little to avoid making contact with one of the cars he was battling with and he had to drop back a little and with his tyres now starting to wear he was unable to close the gap again. After being passed by Jordan Alexander lost a further place to Markelov and he crossed the finishing line in 9th, just outside the points.

Although it has been a disappointing weekend for Racing Engineering, a great fight back today by Jordan showed just how fast the young Englishman is in his rookie season and it was only the incident in yesterday’s Feature Race that prevented Alexander from adding to his points tally. There is now just a one week break before the final weekend of the 2015 GP2 season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
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Team Comments:

Alan Queille, Team Engineer: “We have mixed feelings after today’s race as our pace was really good. But Alex’ starting position and Jordan’s first lap hampered us in achieving better final results. Both suffered front wing damage, which didn’t allow them to get the most out of their cars. However, in Jordan’s case, he had an amazing pace throughout the race. It’s positive we are still second in both championships even though the weekend didn’t go as expected. Now we concentrate on the closing round in Abu Dhabi and on securing the positions in the championship.”

Jordan King: “My start was amazing, the best of the year so far. But into turn 1, I think I was in 5th position, there was the crash on the inside and I had to go wide, across the grass, losing a lot of places. I was 18th under safety car. From there on it was a really good race and the pace was very good. I managed to save my tyres very well and the car’s balance remained very good throughout the race. I am just disappointed with the turn 1 incident and how it affected my final result. But all in all it was a very positive race.”

Alexander Rossi:: “The start was good, but when you start that far back, it’s hard to avoid the first corner incidents and unfortunately my front wing got broken again. We had to drive the whole race with this problem, which caused higher wear on the tyres. It’s disappointing to miss out on the points by one position and I want to forget this weekend and look forward to Abu Dhabi.”
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©GP2
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