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Jun 22, 2014 - 06:21 PM
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Marussia Manor Racing GP3 Team - Round 2 - Austria
Posted by: newsla on Jun 22, 2014 - 06:17 PM
GP2 News
Marussia Manor Racing GP3 Team - Round 2 - Austria


KUJALA Q P4 Race 1 P9 Race 2 P7

STONEMAN Q P6 Race 1 DNF Race 2 P10

CULLEN Q P25 Race 1 P17 Race 2 P13

 

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QUALIFYING

As the tight 30 minute qualifying session came to an end, Dean Stoneman (GBR) jumped to 3rd place, just 0.079 from the pole time set by Alex Lynn. The impressive Patrick Kujala (FIN), who had topped the time sheets for much of the session, dropped to P5 in the closing seconds to finish 0.015 from pole position. Ryan Cullen (GBR) endured a difficult session on the unfamiliar track and was placed P25, just 1.6 from pole. Stoneman was found to have left the circuit and gained advantage on his fastest lap so lost his time and received a 3 place grid penalty, demoting him to 6th and in turn promoting Kujala to start 4th.

RACE 1

Warm evening sunshine greeted the 26 strong grid as they lined up for Saturday’s 18 lap race. Fast starting Stoneman took the outside line and pulled into 3rd place on the drag towards the first braking area. In contrast, Kujala had a slower getaway and battled hard for the same patch of track as Alex Fontana. As they hit the brakes, Fontana pulled straight left taking out Stoneman and forcing Kujala wide in the process. Dean was out on the spot and Patrick continued having dropped down the order. The post-race stewards enquiry would judge Fontana to have caused the collision and he received two penalty points on his licence and ordered to start from the pit lane. Cullen meanwhile was having a good race, steering clear of the first lap carnage and was up to 17th by the flag. Kujala would battle back to 9th.

RACE 2

Once again, perfect racing conditions on Sunday morning and the GP3 would not disappoint the massive crowd gathering for the Austrian Grand Prix later in the day. A brilliant first lap from all three drivers saw Kujala move up to P8. Stoneman passed an incredible 11 cars with Cullen making progress too. As the race settled all three Marussia Manor drivers set about passing cars and moving up the order. At the flag, Kujala, struggling with oversteer, was 7th with 2 points. Stoneman battled through from the back row of the grid to 10th and Cullen scored his best finish in GP3 - P13 - to confirm the progress he is making.

Patrick Kujala #14

"I was pretty happy with qualifying. I had P1 on my board as I crossed the line with a minute to go and ended up P5 by the time I got back to the pits. I didn’t get the best start but got a big squeeze from Fontana who didn’t see me and he hit me, which forced me wide. From then on I had a pretty tough race with damage on the car and although I tried hard to make a pass for 8th to get pole in the reverse grid, I couldn’t quite manage it."

Dean Stoneman #15

"I was so close to the pole time but put back three places for running wide in qualifying, which I accept. I was happy with the car, so expect to have the pace to move forwards to challenge the top 3. In Race 1 I got a great start and took the racing line but got clattered by Fontana which ended my race. I’m very disappointed as we were right in the hunt and this could have been a solid points finish. Starting from the back in race 2 is always going to be tough but I had a good first lap passing lots of cars and avoiding contact. The race spread out a bit by the time I got close to the points so unfortunately I just missed out. I am fully fired up for Silverstone in 2 weeks’ time."

Ryan Cullen #16

"This is a new track for me and it took a while to learn but I got a good rhythm in the races, making progress. It was great to score my best finish in GP3. I can’t wait to get to Silverstone now, a track I really know well. The target is points."

Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal

"We had a good car this weekend with 2 drivers within a tenth of pole but what followed was a weekend spoiled by contact. Our drivers weren’t at fault in race 1 but what looked like a solid points scoring situation was ruined by another driver. All three had a good drive on Sunday and it was good to see Ryan continuing to make good progress, scoring his best result so far in GP3. We now move to our home GP at Silverstone, where we will aim to get back in the Championship battle."

Round 3 of the GP3 Series is at the British Grand Prix, Silverstone 4-6 July.

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