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pic 23/07/16 More points today for Norman Nato, Jordan King and Racing Engineering at the Hungaroring.

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The start of today’s 37 lap Feature Race was delayed by thirty-five minutes due to the rain that had affected the F1 qualifying but by the time the GP2 cars took to the track it was sunny and dry with air and track temperatures of 26° and 35° respectively. Following yesterday’s qualifying Norman Nato was 5th on the grid and Jordan 9th and both of the Racing Engineering cars would be starting on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres and they would switch to the hard compound at the mandatory pitstop.

The first start was aborted due to Canamasas stalling on the grid so the cars did an additional warm-up lap reducing the race to 36 laps. At the second try Norman made a great start from row three passing Sirotkin and Matsushita into the first corner and he finished the opening lap 0.8 seconds behind Giovinazzi and 0.5 ahead of Sirotkin. By lap four the Racing Engineering car was involved in a close battle with Sirotkin with the Russian having the advantage of DRS but Norman was not making any mistakes.

Lap eight saw Norman starting to close the gap on Giovinazzi but on lap nine Norman took his pitstop and a very quick tyre change by and the ever efficient Racing Engineering team saw him leave the pits right behind the second-placed Giovinazzi and the two men were now in 15th and 16th. On lap 13 Norman lost a place to Sirotkin and he was soon fighting hard for position with Pic and on lap twenty-two he was passed by the Russian Time car dropping to 10th. With ten laps to go the young Frenchman was now being pressurised by Matsushita and on lap twenty-seven he dropped to 11th when he was overtaken by the ART car and he was now ahead of his Racing Engineering teammate. As the race entered its final laps and several of the cars ahead had to take their pitstops he gained positions and he was able to pull away from Jordan to finish the race in 7th place.

Jordan made a clean start and he immediately gained a place from Ghiotto to lay 8th at the end of lap one, 0.4 seconds behind Marciello and 0.3 seconds ahead of Malja. For the next five laps Jordan was battling hard with Marciello and Malja with all the drivers being careful not to overuse their tyres in the early laps of the race. On lap eight Jordan took his pitstop and the Spanish team had him quickly back on track in 19th opposition and the young Englishman was immediately setting some very quick laps.

By lap fifteen Jordan was lying in 17th, 2.9 seconds behind Matsushita but he was closing in on the Japanese driver and setting some more fast time he had closed the gap to 1.6 seconds but he lost time behind Armand who had yet to pit. After passing the Trident driver the gap was now 2.3 seconds but as the ART car passed his teammate the young British driver was now right behind Norman. The final laps saw the Racing Engineering car battling with a fast finishing Markelov but he held the Russian off to finish in 8th.

Although neither of the Racing Engineering drivers had the race they had hoped for today their 7th and 8th place finishes means that for tomorrow’s Sprint Race they will start on the front row of the grid with Jordan in pole position and Norman in second and, given that Jordan has won the last two Sprint Races from pole, both men will be looking to finish on the podium.
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Sebastien Viger, Team Engineer: “Once again both our drivers had good starts, Norman went from fifth to third and Jordan gained one position as well. I think everyone was a bit anxious about a Safety Car being deployed as there were still wet patches on track during the first part of the race. Thus, the majority decided to start on option tyres, as both our drivers did. This means that the focus throughout the race was on the pace and keeping positions. Unfortunately, Norman encountered electrical gremlins, which hampered him and prevented him from holding on to P3. As a matter of fact, he did a very good job in bringing seventh position home. Jordan will start from pole tomorrow following an intensive prime tyre stint today. We will work hard tonight hoping to see both our drivers on the podium tomorrow.”

Norman Nato: “My start was good and I went from P5 to P3. Then my pace was good on options and I had Sirotkin behind me under control. Shortly after I pitted for primes I started to struggle with an electronic problem on the car, which continued until I crossed the finish line. Suffering from misfires and no DRS I lost positions. I was able to finish the race in seventh and hope all is back to normal tomorrow as I am starting from second on the grid.”

Jordan King:: “The first lap was OK. It’s always very difficult to overtake around this circuit, so I only managed to make up one place. I then pitted quite early to get onto the prime tyre to improve my pace. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have the ultimate pace on primes to make a lot of progress. But I ended in 8th position, some more points scored and in a good position for tomorrow’s race.”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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©GP2
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