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pic 30/07/16 A very disappointing day for Racing Engineering as Norman Nato and Jordan King have their races ruined by other competitors.

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It was another cloudy but hot day at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit with air and track temperatures of 27° and 43° respectively for today’s 38 lap Feature Race. Following yesterday’s qualifying Racing Engineering’s drivers, Norman Nato and Jordan King, had finished in 7th and 9th positions but, following a post-session penalty to Giovinazzi, they moved up to 6th and 8th. Norman would be starting the race on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres and then switch to the Yellow soft compound tyres at his mandatory pitstop however Jordan was using the reverse strategy, starting on soft tyres and pitting early to switch to mediums.

Norman had a great getaway passing Gasly and Rowland but he lost the place back to Rowland, who was on the softer tyre, and he had to back off a little to avoid contact and Lynn took advantage to push the Racing Engineering driver down to 5th. At the end of lap one Norman was 0.5 seconds behind Lynn and 0.4 ahead of Latifi and he began to battle with the Canadian but he was passed by the DAMS car on lap six who used his DRS to move ahead. A short Virtual Safety Car period saw Norman pass Sirotkin on the restart to regain 4th place and by lap eleven he was 0.4 seconds behind Latifi and he quickly closed the gap and was soon looking for a way to pass but Sirotkin was right behind him and the three cars were running very closely together. On lap fourteen Norman was able to use his DRS to pass Latifi and he was now up to 3rd but on the following lap Sirotkin, in turn, used his DRS to demote the Racing Engineering car back to 4th.

On lap twenty Norman was preserving his tyres and he had let Sirotkin, who was on fresh tyres, go and he was now leading Gasly by four seconds and on lap twenty-one he pitted for his soft tyres resuming the race in 14th position. By lap 25 Norman was 9th as more cars pitted and two laps later he passed Lynn to take 6th and the young Frenchman was now trying to pass Giovinazzi but the following lap he spun as he was hit from behind by Lynn (for which the Briton would later be penalised) and as he spun the car stalled and Norman had to retire.

Jordan gained a place at the start by passing Gasly and he started the second lap 0.2 behind Latifi and 0.5 ahead of Markelov and he now began a close battle with the two cars until lap six when Markelov completely misjudged his braking and hit Jordan in the rear pushing the Racing Engineering car sideways and costing the young British driver several places. Jordan stopped to change to medium tyres on lap 8 and, after his collision with Markelov, he was down to 18th place with a lot of work to do to move up into the points.

By lap fifteen Jordan was up to 14th as the cars began to make their pitstops but he was 6.7 seconds behind Rowland who was lying 13th, however he was soon catching the MP Motorsport driver and on lap nineteen, the halfway point, he was just 2.4 seconds away. Sadly, just as it looked as if Jordan was going to finish well, he was hit on the right rear tyre by the front wing of Ghiotto which caused a puncture and Jordan had to pit for a new tyre but he was now down to 18th and last with just twelve laps to the finish and he was unable to finish any higher than 16th.

It was almost too hard to believe that both Norman and Jordan were involved in three separate collisions that were caused by other drivers which totally ruined their day’s racing and it will be very hard for both men to finish well in tomorrow’s race as Jordan will have to start 16th with Norman two places further back in 18th.
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Team Comments:

Alan Queille, Race Engineer: “A very disappointing race as we had both drivers in fights for big points today, but contact with other cars destroyed both their races. Norman had a very good start moving up into P3, but dropped to fifth during the opening lap. When he pitted from P3, all went well until when he was back on track Lynn hit him sending him into a spin, which put an end to his race. Jordan made up a position at the start as well and his strategy to start on option tyres worked well. But Markelov misjudging his breaking point and sending Jordan into a spin which put us at the back of the field. From there, thanks to his good pace, he was heading for a good top 5 finish which was within reach, but contact with Ghiotto resulted in a puncture and Jordan was forced to pit again and finish in a disappointing 16th position.”

Norman Nato: “My start was good and I was in third after the first corner. I then fought with Rowland, maybe a bit too much as when I tried to overtake him, I went to the outside and picked up some marbles on my tyres and lost grip in the last part of the circuit. I then pushed as much as possible until the pitstop. I had a good out lap and Lynn exited the pit lane in front of me, so I started to push to get back positions on cars on the different strategy. I was preparing my overtaking on Giovinazzi when Lynn hit the back of my car and sent me into a spin, I stalled so my race was over there.”

Jordan King:: “Staying on the positives, I think our race pace was good. We showed good pace at the start of the prime stint while still managing tyres and we also had a good pace at the end on option tyres. It’s just disappointing to get knocked off and make the race really difficult for us. We know we’ve got the pace for tomorrow so let’s see what we can do, the weather might also play a part.”
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