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pic 19/06/16 Jordan King finishes 4th today for Racing Engineering in the Baku Sprint Race.

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Following yesterday’s Feature Race on the Baku City Circuit, when both Jordan King and Norman Nato retired following race incidents, they would be starting today’s 21 lap Sprint Race from 12th and 13th positions respectively. Once again it was very hot with air and track temperatures of 32° and 50° respectively and both Racing Engineering cars were starting on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres.

Jordan made a good start and the lights went off and he was able to gain two places in the opening lap and as the cars started their second lap he was chasing Eriksson for 9th. By lap five the Racing Engineering driver was in a large group of cars running from 6th to 11th place and he was trying hard to pass Eriksson and on lap seven Jordan dived up the inside of the Arden car but they made contact with each other and both spun off resulting in a Safety Car period. Jordan was able to continue but he had now dropped to 13th position but as the Safety Car pulled in and racing resumed several cars left the track promoting him to 10th and resulting in another Safety Car.

Racing resumed on lap eleven but immediately several cars spun and once again the Safety Car was back on track but Jordan had benefitted from the incident to now lie 6th right behind Sirotkin. Lap thirteen and racing began again but again there was another incident as the two leaders, Matsushita and Marciello, made contact and left the track and Jordan was now in 4th. By lap fourteen the Racing Engineering car was 1.6 seconds behind Sirotkin and 0.7 seconds ahead of Jeffri and as the race entered its final laps Jordan was able to pull away from the Arden car but he was unable to close the gap to the ART driver and he crossed the finish line in an excellent 4th place after starting from 12th.

Norman lost two places on the opening laps as all the drivers made sure there wasn’t a repeat of the opening lap incident that had caused so many problems in yesterday’s race and he was lying 15th as the second lap began. Although he was fighting hard the young Frenchman lost two more places to Gasly and Kirchhofer over the next few laps and by lap six he was involved in a tight battle with Giovinazzi. As he was suffering from a problem with his brakes, and in order to avoid an accident, Norman was called into the pits where he retired.

The first visit to the Baku circuit did not work out the way the Racing Engineering team had hoped for with retirements for Norman in both races and for Jordan a retirement but a battling 4th today brought some relief to the Spanish team. The next round of the 2016 GP2 series will be in two weeks’ time at Spielberg in Austria.
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©Racing Engineering
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©GP2
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©Racing Engineering
Team Comments:

Sebastien Viger, Technical Director: “Another eventful race here at Baku, it was a crazy race. We were starting from 12th and 13th places and both drivers had good starts. Norman had to retire with a brake issue that we found on the grid, we told him not take any risks as it’s a long Championship and we didn’t want him to have an accident or receive a penalty. Jordan had a strong race, he had contact with Eriksson but got into a good position and finished in P4. It was a good way to recover after yesterday and showed that we will keep our heads down and work hard for the remainder of the Championship and put the drivers back to where they deserve to be.”

Norman Nato: “We had a problem with the brakes and we will have to investigate to see exactly what the problem was. It was all a bit of a mess in the race due to the Safety Car, it’s a shame as it was possible to score points today but anyway this weekend is over and we will now concentrate on the Red Bull Ring. The Championship is long and we’ve had two good weekends so it is important to keep focussed. July will be very important with four race weekends.”

Jordan King:: “Where do I start? From our point we did a very good job, we managed the tyres well and we were both proactive and reactive. Driving the car felt nice, I was doing a good job and managing the tyre temperatures and from my point trying to keep my nose clean. It didn’t quite work out as I made contact with Eriksson and bought out the Safety Car. Luckily I was able to keep going in 14th and we saw what happened, there were a lot of incidents but I managed to keep it clean, pick the right time and keep a cool head. The last few laps were good, I struggled to get up to speed but the last five laps were really good, I felt comfortable and it all went well. I’m looking forward to the next race, it will be nice from a driver’s point of view to be able to push the boundaries a bit more rather than having to keep your wits about you keeping out of the walls. I think sleep and good food is the priority over the next two months as it is going to be flat out!”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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©Racing Engineering
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