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pic 24/07/16 Racing Engineering finish second and third today at the Hungaroring with Jordan King and Norman Nato.

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Following yesterday’s Feature Race when Norman Nato and Jordan King finished 6th and 7th, todays’ 28 lap Sprint Race saw Jordan starting from pole position with Norman next to him on the front row of the reversed grid.  The weather was again sunny and dry with air and track temperatures of 25° and 34° respectively, and, with no mandatory pitstop today, both of the Racing Engineering cars would be starting on the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound.

Jordan made a good start and led into the first corner but an accident further down the field saw the Safety Car deployed as four cars were off the track and too badly damaged to continue. Racing resumed on lap four and Jordan went wide on his now cold tyres and Sirotkin was able to pull alongside the Racing Engineering car and out-brake him into Turn 4. Jordan was now fighting hard and on lap seven he set the fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:30.434s and the gap was 0.9 seconds to the leader which gave the young British driver the advantage of DRS.

As the race reached the half-way point at fourteen laps Jordan was 1.3 seconds behind Sirotkin and the two men were turning in almost identical lap times as both drivers took care not to overstress their tyres. Sirotkin began to lap a little faster than Jordan and on lap twenty Jordan was 2.5 seconds behind the leader and with his tyres now at the end of their life he settled for a hard fought 2nd place at the flag.

Norman was a little slow away from 2nd position and was passed by Sirotkin into the first corner and was hit in the rear by Matsushita but he was able to continue in 3rd position as the Safety Car came out on the track. As the cars started to race again Norman held onto 3rd place and he had a 0.9 second advantage over Evans and he was now chasing his teammate who was lying in 2nd. By lap ten Norman was now leading Markelov, who had passed Evans, by one second and Jordan was 2.1 seconds ahead in 2nd.

At fourteen laps Norman had closed the gap to Jordan to 1.9 seconds and he was holding the gap to Markelov at one second but over the next five laps the Russian Time car began to close a little but Norman responded and he opened out his lead to one second again on lap twenty and he began to set his fastest laps of the race so far. The Racing Engineering driver was able to keep the gap constant and he crossed the finishing line in 3rd, 1.4 seconds ahead of the Russian.

After the disappointment of yesterday the Racing Engineering team fought back today and Jordan and Norman had very strong races with both men on the podium and scoring good points in the Drivers’ Championship. The GP2 teams only have just one week to prepare for the next round in the 2016 GP2 Series at the German circuit of Hockenheim.
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Team Comments:

Sebastien Viger, Team Engineer: “A great job today to get both cars on the podium after yesterday’s disappointing race. Obviously when you start one and two it’s a bit disappointing not to be on the top step, a small mistake at the restart decided it. It was a crazy race at the Hungaroring as everyone pushed and pushed for the fastest lap but, in the end, it’s a good amount of points and we will come back stronger at Hockenheim.”

Norman Nato: “The start was OK but not as good as I can do and in the first corner Matsushita hit me on the right rear wheel and I lost a place to Sirotkin. After the restart from the Safety Car I struggled to match the pace of Sirotkin so I decided to push but keep my tyres for the end of the race so I was able to catch Jordan a little but one lap I would be faster and the next lap he would be faster. Sirotkin was just quicker today and there was not a lot we could do, but overall it was a good race and I would like to thank the team as they have worked a lot in the two days, especially last night to find the problem with my car and it worked well today and I was able to fight so now we can just work on the driving and the set-up.”

Jordan King:: “The work over the winter has been really good, another good start and I think I have on average a 2.8 which is great and it shows we did the right things on the small details over winter. As for today, the progress on the car overnight was very good and I am very happy on what we did as I struggled a bit for pace yesterday and we managed to solve a couple of the issues and improved the car setup so I had really good pace. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a hat trick of wins but another good podium and a lot of points over the weekend, so it is all coming together nicely and we just need to continue as we are and try to improve again and again.”
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