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pic 03/07/16 Jordan King takes a brilliant victory in the wet for Racing Engineering today at the Red Bull Ring.

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In yesterday’s Feature Race Norman Nato and Jordan King finished 7th and 10th respectively at the flag but post-race penalties to Malja and Sirotkin promoted Jordan to 8th. As a result, Jordan and Norman would now start today’s 28 lap Sprint Race from the front row of the reversed grid in 1st and 2nd position. The weather today was very different to yesterday with wet conditions and a very slippery track with air and track temperatures of 13° and 19° respectively. Both of the Racing Engineering cars were fitted with the Pirelli P Zero Blue wet weather compound tyres for the start of the race.

Because of the conditions the race started behind the Safety Car to give the drivers an opportunity to test the conditions on track. Racing got underway after four laps and as the Safety Car returned to the pits Jordan took the lead with Norman holding onto second as the cars struggled for grip. Norman was trying to pass Jordan but he was, in turn, fighting with Rowland but almost immediately an incident further down the field on lap four saw the Safety Car deployed. The cars were racing again on lap five and, once again, Jordan and Norman held onto first and second with Norman taking a wide line wherever possible to keep out of Jordan’s spray.

By lap eight Jordan had taken advantage of his better visibility to lead by 2.5 seconds but further back Norman lost two places to Rowland and Marciello and on the following lap he dropped to 5th as he was passed by Ghiotto. On lap ten Jordan was leading Rowland by 1.9 seconds while Norman, still in 5th, was now battling with Latifi but he was now beginning to lap faster than the cars behind him but he then ran wide into Turn 2 on lap thirteen and he was passed by Latifi and Evans but he immediately repassed Evans. On the following lap he lost more places dropping back to 10th and on lap twenty he was passed by Giovinazzi falling to 11th and as the Safety Car came out on lap twenty-two Norman pitted for a set of slicks and he resumed racing in 13th place. Although he could only improve to 12th he was able to set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:22.155s on lap twenty-eight.

Jordan was running very quickly at the front and on lap thirteen he set the fastest lap of the race so far with a time of 1:29.008s and two lap later, the half-way point of the race, his lead over Rowland had grown to 4.4 seconds. All the drivers were now looking to drive on the wetter parts of the track to keep their wet weather tyres cool and Jordan reported back to the Racing Engineering team that the track was drying quickly. On lap nineteen, ten to go, Jordan was still leading Rowland by 3.5 seconds and on lap twenty he set another fastest lap of 1:28.402s but a Safety Car period following a spin by Latifi, saw his hard earned lead lost. Racing resumed a lap later and Jordan made a great restart from Rowland setting another fastest lap of 1:26.813s to lead his fellow British driver by 1.4 seconds. Another fastest lap for the Racing Engineering driver of 1:26.409s on the next lap saw the gap grow to 2.3 seconds and he did it again on lap 25 as he reduced his time to 1:26.031 and increase his lead to 3.2 seconds. Jordan then made no mistakes in the remaining laps to win by a comfortable six seconds.

It has been a great day today for Jordan King and Racing Engineering as the young Englishman took his maiden win in GP2 following a faultless drive in very difficult conditions and for Racing Engineering it was their 25th win in GP2. For Norman it was a disappointing day as he finished outside the points although his 7th place yesterday is some consolation. The GP2 teams will be racing again in just one week at Silverstone.
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Alan Queille, Race Engineer: “Mixed feelings about the out the outcome of today’s race. We are happy that Jordan was able to take his first GP2 race win, he drove very well straight off the line and was the quickest throughout the entire race. He additionally took the points for fastest lap, so overall this was a very positive Sunday for him. As for Norman, he had good opening laps, but dropped back to P10. When the opportunity of a Safety Car appeared towards the end of the race, and given his position, we opted to pit for slicks. Once he had his tyres ready to push, he set very fast lap times, but the gap to the drivers on wets was too big. Overall this was not the event we hoped for, but we still managed to take P2 in the teams’ standings back and score important points for the drivers’ championship with Jordan’s maiden GP2 win.”

Norman Nato: “Given the track conditions we started behind the Safety Car and I was behind my team mate, able to follow the pace. But suddenly I lost pace and could not follow. There was a Safety Car towards the end of the race and we decided to go for slicks. I was much quicker during the final laps and set the fastest lap time, but there were not enough laps left to catch the drivers on wets.”

Jordan King:: “Coming into the race there was a lot to learn and work out on the first few laps as we haven’t had much running in the wet before. So the first few laps were about finding my feet and after a few laps I increased my pace and created a gap. I then managed the gap and saved my tyres which meant I had tyres left to push when needed after the Safety Car. It feels good to get my first GP2 win and the team did a great job in giving me a car that allowed me to do so.”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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©GP2
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