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Jul 19, 2014 - 04:06 PM
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GP2 Thriller Delivers Mixed Results For Carlin
Posted by: newsla on Jul 19, 2014 - 04:03 PM
GP2 News
GP2 Thriller Delivers Mixed Results For Carlin


A chaotic GP2 Feature Race in Germany saw mixed fortunes for the Carlin GP2 team today. Felipe Nasr finished a fought hard race to take fifth place at the chequered flag, while an eventful and determined race for Julian Leal saw him cross the line in 16th.

 

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With several drivers handed penalties for impeding others progress during qualifying, Nasr started fifth and Leal 16th after a technical issue for the Colombian in qualifying.

In hot conditions, the race got underway, with Nasr passing the stalled car of fourth placed man Tom Dillmann and holding off Charles Pic to slot into fourth place. The Brazilian racer then started to close in on third placed Stefano Coletti, looking as if he could pass the Racing Engineering car before the safety car was called out due to debris on track. Leal meanwhile was 17th.

The safety car was called in at the end of lap four, with Nasr right up behind third placed man Coletti but wasn’t quite able to pass. Leal became the first driver to take his mandatory pit stop on lap six, but a delay in the pits cost the Colombian dearly, putting the Carlin man back out in 23rd place.

Emerging back on track, Leal was charging – a full second quicker than the rest of the field. His competitors soon responded though – pitting to match Leal’s strategy. By lap 12, Leal had recovered to 17th place, while Nasr had dropped off the battle of the top three. On lap 15, Leal passed Daniel Abt for 16th, but Abt was fighting back which allowed Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to get in on the action. Leal held firm though, with some great attacking driving to hold off both drivers and take 15th.

In the closing stages of the 200th GP2 race, strategy started to play its part. Those drivers who had stopped early for primes started to struggle with tyre degradation. Leal, who had climbed all the way up to 5th place, started to struggle and soon came under attack from those drivers on brand new options. Leal did well to hold off the train of cars behind him, but finally Johnny Cecotto got past, which opened the floodgates on the Colombian. With no grip to be able to defend, Leal made it difficult for the drivers behind but dropped down the order as did the other drivers on the older primes.

Nasr meanwhile was involved in a close battle with Coletti which had lasted the majority of the race. Coletti ran wide with seven laps to go, running off track and returning to the racing line with an aggressive move, but Nasr managed to stay clear and moved up to eighth place. Nasr then had a clear line of attack on Nathanael Berthon and Quaife-Hobbs who were struggling with tyre wear. While pushing to pass the two cars ahead, Coletti had been able to close back in and Nasr suddenly had to look in his mirrors as well as ahead.

Nasr did manage to pass Berthon a few corners later, but both drivers ran wide, which allowed Coletti to charge through again, meaning Nasr was still eighth. Nasr pulled a fantastic move on Quaife-Hobbs with five laps to go, taking seventh place while Leal was holding onto 12th, despite running on the oldest tyres in the field.

Next in Nasr sights was Stephan Richelmi, with both Nasr and Coletti closing at speed on the DAMS car. Both drivers passed Richelmi and just a few corners later Nasr passed Coletti after a multi lap battle. Nasr then closed on Cecotto passing his with a great move, which unfortunately allowed Coletti to repass and take back fourth. With only a few corners left the order remained the same, with Nasr fifth and Leal by now 16th.

Nasr will consequently start tomorrow’s race from fourth, while Leal will line up 16th.

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