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Jul 28, 2014 - 04:23 PM
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Pic Tames Hungarian Heat To Clinch Maiden GP2 Win
Posted by: newsla on Jul 28, 2014 - 04:16 PM
GP2 News
Pic Tames Hungarian Heat To Clinch Maiden GP2 Win


Arthur Pic bounced back from two unlucky GP2 outings in fine style to claim a superb first Series victory in round seven at the Hungaroring last weekend (July 25-27). After managing tyre wear and keeping his cool to win Saturday’s Feature Race, the Campos Racing driver then finished a strong sixth in Sunday’s Sprint Race to leave Budapest as the event’s highest points scorer.

 

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The Frenchman was on the money from the word go during Friday’s qualifying session when he claimed a season’s best third on the grid with a lap just two tenths shy of pole.

The potential for a strong result looked in jeopardy on Saturday afternoon however, when a poor getaway saw him drop three places at the start, before the Safety Car’s deployment on lap five prevented an early recovery.

Pic had elected to start with the softer compound tyres on a track that was extremely hot, but still waited an extra lap after the mandatory pit-stop window opened before switching to the medium rubber. And his patience proved a clever decision when he re-joined the fray ahead of all the early stoppers.

Despite lapping as fast as the leaders, the 22-year-old was able to preserve his tyres – a key performance factor in GP2 – and steadily make his way to the sharp end before taking the lead with a dozen laps remaining. But a potentially stress-free run to the chequered flag was scuppered just moments later when the deployment of another Safety Car bunched up the entire field.

A substantial amount of debris meant it took some time before racing could resume, so much so that the fight for victory would become a one-lap dash to the line. But Pic kept his cool and pushed at the perfect moment to put crucial distance between himself and GP2 frontrunner Stefano Coletti as the Safety Car peeled in. Less than two minutes later the Series rookie was a GP2 race winner for the first time.

Lining up eighth on the reverse grid for Sunday’s Sprint Race, Arthur made the most of a much better start to pick up two places by diving down the inside at turn one. He then spent much of the remaining 27 laps fending off repeated assaults from the cars behind, while also managing his tyre degradation, to clinch a solid sixth and score more valuable championship points.

“It feels fantastic to have secured my maiden GP2 win,” beamed Arthur afterwards. “Climbing on the top step of the podium is always a special moment, and especially after experiencing some bad luck over the past couple of race weekends. It’s a victory that rewards the entire team’s hard work. We’ve always believed that we had the potential to be competitive and claim good results this season, and that was proven on Saturday.

“This weekend I felt like we had a good shot as early as Friday’s free practice session. The car was competitive from the start and qualifying then confirmed our strong potential. I did lose some places at the start, but everything went pretty smoothly after that. The mechanics did a great job during my pit-stop, which gave me the opportunity to leapfrog all the early stoppers.

“Then we had to look after the medium tyres for 30 laps, which me managed to do efficiently. We also had to deal with the numerous race incidents and keep our cool ahead of the final lap when the Safety Car went in. I tried to surprise Coletti by pushing very early and it looks like the trick worked!

“We now enter the summer break in the best possible frame of mind and will savour this first GP2 win. But we won’t change our approach; the plan is to keep taking one race weekend at a time. We’ll also keep pushing hard to ensure we pick up where we left off when the championship continues next month.”

The GP2 Series now takes a four-week summer break before racing resumes with round eight at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on August 22-24.

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