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Aug 26, 2014 - 05:32 PM
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First Pole Position for Hilmer Motorsport and Daniel Abt in GP2 Series in Spa
Posted by: newsla on Aug 26, 2014 - 05:31 PM
GP2 News
First Pole Position for Hilmer Motorsport and Daniel Abt in GP2 Series in Spa


Daniel Abt just barely misses podium.

The GP2 team of Hilmer Motorsport looks back on a successful weekend in Spa. Daniel Abt clinched his and the team’s first Pole Position. In a turbulent and chaotic race on Saturday, which was aborted for 20 minutes due to heavy rain, the only German driver in the field showed an outstanding performance. A perfectly planned pit stop helped Abt to have a clear track and clear visibility on the 7.004 kilometer long and wet track. Abt was able to gain the time he needed to overtake many competitors after their pit stops. After a spectacular overtaking in the infamous “Eau Rouge” and a hard fight over many laps Abt managed to climb up to eight position on the final lap. According to the regulations, the Top 8 drivers of the Saturday race will start in reverse grid order in the sprint race. This meant that Abt was on Pole Position for the first time ever. The German got off to a good start but lost first place to Felipe Nasr, who is second in the GP2 Championship. On the same lap, Championship leader Jolyon Palmer nearly ended Abt’s race after a hard-fought battle and Abt dropped back to fourth. During the course of the race, Abt could keep up with Palmer and the gap between both drivers was less than one second. On the last lap Abt lost another position and crossed the finish line in fifth place.

 

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His team mate Jon Lancaster had a difficult weekend and had to start the main race from pit lane after he stalled the engine before the formation lap. After a collision with a competitor, Lancaster’s front wing was damaged which had a missive effect on the balance and aerodynamics of his car. Lancaster only finished the race in 19th position. On Sunday, the Briton had to retire on the third lap because of an overheated engine.

Franz Hilmer, Teamchef:
“It was a crazy weekend in Spa where we started from Pole Position in GP2 for the very first time. Daniel drove a phantastic race on Saturday after it had to be aborted due to the heavy rain. He had spectacular overtakings and the tension was very high until he passed Negrao on the last lap and finished in eighth position. The eighth place in the main race in GP2 is very important because the drivers classified in the Top 8 on Saturday will start in reverse grid order on Sunday. So Daniel clinched his and also Hilmer Motorsport’s first Pole Position. Unfortunately, he lost the first place at the start to Nasr and after a fight with the Championship leader Palmer he dropped back to fourth position. Palmer cut the chicance and gained an advantage. According to the regulations he had to drop back and let Daniel overtake him again, but he didn’t do this. We don’t understand why the race stewards didn’t penalize Palmer. Daniel was able to put pressure on Palmer and to keep up with the pace of the race leaders easily. It is a shame that he barely missed the podium but nevertheless we showed once again that the team and Daniel rank among the best in the field. We are very sorry for Jon that he couldn’t finish the race on Sunday. Unfortunately, the engine of his car overheated and Jon had to stop on track. Nevertheless, we are happy about our positive development and our progress. We are very confident that we are well positioned for the next races and that we will race in the front in Monza again.”

Daniel Abt, Driver #11:
“It was a really crazy main race. Heavy rain, an abort of the race in between – a lot more in terms of turbulences is not possible. That’s why the eighth place in the end carries even more weight. I was very happy to start from my first Pole Position in GP2 on Sunday. Our pace was very good and I’d incredibly liked clinching a podium for the team. In the next three races we are going to give everything to make this happen. I am sure: the champagne shower will follow shortly.”

Jon Lancaster, Driver #12:
“It was a difficult weekend for me in Spa and I was hoping for more. Before the formation lap on Saturday I stalled the engine unfortunately and I had to be pushed back to the pit lane from where I had to start afterwards. Later in the race, I was fighting for positions with other drivers and my front wing was damaged. As a consequence the balance of the car was affected and the driving was very difficult. On Sunday, the engine of my car overheated in the beginning of the race. I tried to get back to the pit lane but I had to stop the car on track. I will try to forget the weekend and I hope that we will do better in Monza.”

Results GP2 Spa

Practice
#11 Daniel Abt Position 19
#12 Jon Lancaster Position 22

Qualifying
#11 Daniel Abt Position 18
#12 Jon Lancaster Position 23

Feature Race
#11 Daniel Abt Position 8
#12 Jon Lancaster Position 19

Sprint Race
#11 Daniel Abt Position 5
#12 Jon Lancaster DNF


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