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May 11, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Podium For Nasr And Leal Fourth
Posted by: newsla on May 11, 2014 - 06:11 AM
GP2 News
Podium For Nasr And Leal Fourth


Carlin drivers Felipe Nasr and Julian Leal put in a strong performance at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon to take third and fourth place respectively in the GP2 Feature Race on the outskirts of Barcelona. The duo’s performance put Carlin at the top of the teams’ standings, while Leal remains second in the drivers’ and Nasr third. Leal also recorded the fastest lap of the race.

 

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An aborted start heightened the tension as the GP2 drivers waited on the grid for the first European race of the season this afternoon. At the second time around everyone got away cleanly with Nasr making a strong start and moving up to second place while Leal was also on the move slotting into fourth place from his seventh place grid slot. The safety car came out to clear away an opening lap accident between Daniel Abt and Favu Regalia, while Mitch Evans pitted with damage from third, elevating Leal to third behind his team mate Nasr.

At the restart, the order at the front remained the same, with Nasr a close second to race leader Palmer and Leal just behind in third. Both Palmer and Nasr pitted as soon as the pit window opened, making their mandatory pit stop on lap six. A quick stop from both teams saw the drivers return to the track in the same order. Leal, who had inherited the race lead, pitted a lap later.

With the field split into two fairly distinctive groups strategy wise, the leaders pitted earlier on, while the remainder of the field waited until the end of the race to make their mandatory stops. Trident’s Jonny Cecotto provided the surprise of the race, emerging onto track after a long stint on the harder compound, just ahead of Nasr with ten laps to go. Despite pushing hard, Nasr wasn’t able to fight back, with Cecotto on much newer tyres. Cecotto went on to pass race leader Palmer, who then fell back into the sights of Nasr.

With five laps remaining Palmer and Nasr were nose to tail, with the Carlin man looking threatening on several occasions. Despite running within a few tenths of a second, Nasr wasn’t able to find a way through and took third place at the flag, with team mate Leal just behind in fourth.

Speaking about his race, Nasr said, “I had a good start and I knew that we had the pace to stay in contention. The race pace was good and it was pretty close throughout the race. We didn’t have the pace to challenge Cecotto at the end, but I think we could have got Palmer with a couple more laps. It is important to keep getting these points though and the podium is the aim again tomorrow.”

Team mate Leal added, “The start was really good for me and I had good pace in the middle part of the race. Towards the end that dropped off a little and I had to settle for fourth. It was nearly our third consecutive podium, but I’m pleased with fourth. We can do more again in the Sprint race.”


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