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May 23, 2014 - 05:21 PM
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Racing Engineering Monaco Race 1
Posted by: newsla on May 23, 2014 - 05:17 PM
GP2 News
Racing Engineering Monaco Race 1

Conditions for the 42 lap Feature Race today were very similar to qualifying with sunny skies and air and track temperatures of 18° and 23° respectively. A post-qualifying penalty applied to Abt meant that both Racing Engineering drivers were promoted one position on the starting grid.so the Stefano Coletti would be starting from 7th and Raffaele Marciello from 8th and both cars were on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow soft compound.


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As the lights went off all the cars got away cleanly and Stefano got away well and passed Haryanto on the exit from Sainte Devote to finish lap 1 in 6th place but as the cars started lap 2 the Safety Car was deployed with a car stranded at Tabac. The Safety car returned to the pits at the end of lap 3 and as racing resumed Stefano was right on the gearbox of Vandoorne and looking for a way to pass. On lap 10 Stefano was still pushing hard and he had pulled away from Haryanto and he and Vandoorne were both closing on Evans, Richelmi and Cecotto who were fighting for 2nd.

On lap 12 contact between two cars saw a traffic jam at the hairpin after the Mirabeau which saw the red flag displayed whilst the track was cleared. Several of the cars began to overheat and dropped into “Safety Mode” and required a push start further delaying the restart. After a long delay to return all the cars to the grid the race got underway again behind the Safety Car and the race was now under a maximum time of 60 minutes so there were just 40 minutes remaining. Stefano now began to push very hard and he was moving from side to side in an effort to make Vandoorne make a mistake.

By lap 23 Stefano’s tyres were beginning to go off and he dropped away a little from Vandoorne but he had a 2.5 second lead over Haryanto in 7th. Eight laps later the safety car was back out again as Leal went off the track and Stefano immediately took his mandatory pitstop resuming the track in 7th place with two cars ahead still to stop. The Safety Car returned to the pits on lap 28 and as the cars approached the hairpin he passed Canamasas and almost immediately he passed Nasr in a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre at Anthony Noghes corner and on the next lap he was 4th as he passed Evans at the same corner.

Stefano was now chasing Trummer who had yet to stop and as he tried to overtake the Rapax car at Anthony Noghes again the Swiss driver turned in and made contact with Stefano and both cars left the track. After the race Trummer received a 5 position grid penalty for his part in the incident.

Lello made a good start and was able to hold his 8th place and he finished the lap right behind Haryanto and just ahead of Abt. Following the Safety Car incident on lap 2 Lello began to fight with Haryanto and it seemed that the young Italian was quicker than the Caterham car but he was unable to find a way ahead on the tight twisty turns of Monaco. By lap 8 the Racing Engineering car was right on the gearbox of Haryanto but he had to be careful not to make a mistake as Abt and Rossi were close behind.

As the race resumed after the red flag stoppage Lello was still in 8th position and it was important to keep the place as it would give him pole position for tomorrow’s Sprint Race. Leal attempted to pass Lello on lap 25 and nearly made contact with Lello but he was able to avoid the car and he retained 8th place. The Racing Engineering car made it’s mandatory pitstop on lap 28, after the Safety Car period, resuming the track in 16th position, over the next few laps Lello was able to move up to 12th and he was now involved in a tense battle for 6th but with the clock running down there was not enough time to improve his position.

Once again both Racing Engineering drivers have proved to be very fast in the race but without having the results they deserved. Both men will be starting tomorrow’s Sprint Race in the middle of the field with a lot of work to do to get up into the points.

Quote1 Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

"Very disappointing results today as we had a guaranteed second position with Stefano and only a few laps to go and a very good pace. But trying to overtake Trummer he crashed and this ruined our weekend. The starts of both drivers were OK, but then the race became complicated with the red flag and several Safety Cars. Unfortunately Lello missed the pitlane entry just when the safety car came out and had to complete an extra lap which made him lose positions. The hard work of our boys didn't pay off and we will have a quite difficult race tomorrow."

Quote2 Raffaele Marciello:

"Today's race was really long. It's a pity as I think I could have finished in 7th or 8th and therefore started from the front row tomorrow. There were some problems during the pit stop and I rejoined the race in 16th position and finished 12th."

Quote3 Stefano Coletti:

"At the start I was able to gain one position, but was blocked behind Vandoorne after for a good part of the race even though I was quicker. When the race was stopped due to the red flag, others put a new set of tyres, but we still had the pace and only lost it a bit before the second safety car. When the safety car left the track we pitted and I passed Richelmi and Cecotto in the pits. I was P6 then and overtook Canamasas in Mirabeau and ten Nasr and Evans in the last corner. I was in P3 when I tried to pass Trummer and he closed the door and we crashed. I would like to thank the boys for the fast car and swift pit stop.”

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