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pic 27/11/16 Racing Engineering secure second position in the GP2 Team Championship today at Yas Marina.

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Today’s 22 lap Sprint Race at Yas Marina took place at 14:20 local time so the GP2 cars were racing under daylight rather than the Feature Race which was held at night under floodlights and this meant that the air and track temperatures were higher than those of yesterday at 28° and 35° respectively. Following the Feature Race Norman Nato lined up 3rd on the reversed grid after finishing 6th and Jordan King, who had a difficult race, was in 13th position. Both of the Racing Engineering cars were running on the Pirelli P Zero White Medium compound tyres.

Norman made a good start from the second row passing Cecotto into the first corner but during the opening lap the Venezuelan repassed and he lost another place to Sirotkin to finish the first lap in 4th, 0.6 seconds behind Cecotto and 0.6 seconds ahead of Matsushita. During the next few laps the Racing Engineering car came under increasing pressure from the ART car and he dropped away a little from Cecotto and by lap six the gap was 2.7 seconds. On lap nine Norman was passed by Matsushita and he was now battling with Giovinazzi who had the advantage of DRS on the straights.

On lap twelve Norman was leading a group of five cars and on lap thirteen he set his fastest lap of the race so far as he fought to keep Giovinazzi behind him and some more personal fastest laps saw the young Frenchman open out a 2.7 second gap, helped by contact between Giovinazzi and Markelov, as the race entered the closing five laps. Norman was comfortably able to keep the gap over Giovinazzi to take 5th at the chequered flag and secure second place for Racing Engineering in the Team Championship.

Jordan made a very good start from 13th place passing Canamasas and Ghiotto but losing a position to Evans to end the opening lap in 12th, 0.6 second behind Evans and 0.6 seconds ahead of Rowland. On lap seven the young Briton lost a place to Rowland under braking to lie 13th and he was now 3.6 seconds ahead of Bernstorff but he was able to open the gap to the Arden driver and on lap eleven he was 5.2 seconds ahead and closing on Latifi who was just 0.5 seconds ahead. Jordan soon passed the Canadian driver and he was now 3.5 seconds behind Rowland with six laps to go and within three laps he reduced the gap to 1.2 seconds and with two laps to go he used his DRS to pass the MP Motorsport car to move up to 11th. Jordan was now fighting with Marciello and on the final lap the two cars passed and repassed each other and the Racing Engineering driver was able to take the place and finish 10th at the finish.

A mixed day for Racing Engineering in the final race of the 2016 GP2 Series with the team finishing second in the Team Championship but Norman finishing 5th when he had hoped to end the year on the podium. For Jordan yesterday’s disappointing race meant that he was never in contention for a good finish today. The team will now begin preparing for three days of testing at the Yas Marina circuit starting on Wednesday.
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Team Comments:

Sebastien Viger, Technical Director: “This was a tense race for us. It was quite clear early in the race that we were not quick enough in the second sector making life difficult for both our drivers defending their positions. But they both held on well and kept their positions. There is still work to do as this weekend we were not up to our usual standards. All in all, it’s a bitter-sweet end of the season, as we claimed back second place in the teams’ championship, but were not able to improve our drivers’ positions in the overall championship.”

Norman Nato: “My start was good and I managed to pass Cecotto and tried to pass Lynn as well, but had to back off. As it was all weekend we struggled to put temperature in the tyres at the beginning, we tried to improve it with the driving and the set up, but it didn’t work the way we wanted. It’s not the end of the season we expected but, overall, we had a very good season and I’d like to thank everyone in the team for their work.”

Jordan King:: “My start was very good and I made up some good places off the line. Unfortunately, I then lost them again during the first half of lap 1. From there on we lacked a bit of pace until the end of the race, where I started to come back as my tyres were fresher. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any points but I had fun racing and driving.”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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