Motorsport News - Misc
Double GP3 Top Ten For Atech CRS GP In Spain
28th June 2012
Atech CRS Grand Prix secured two top ten finishes in the latest rounds of the 2012 GP3 Series around the streets of Valencia over the weekend. While career best finishes for its two rookie drivers cemented the team’s potential as a front-running outfit.
The support races to the European Grand Prix in Spain proved eventful for the trio of Tamas Pal Kiss, John Wartique and Ethan Ringel. For Pal Kiss qualifying had been a close-run affair, the Hungarian recovering well from a starter motor failure in free practice to post the ninth fastest time.
In the weekend’s opening race, his chances of securing a top finish were brought to an abrupt and premature end, when he was hit in turn two dropping him right down the order. A storming recovery drive allowed him to carve his way through the field, narrowly missing out on eighth place, which would have secured the pole spot on the reversed-grid race two.
Wartique had his best qualifying of the season to post the 17th fastest time and was just 1.5 seconds away from the pole time. In the opening race, the young Belgian, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Monday, did a great job to get up to 11th, and for the last three laps was battling hard for 10th place. However his limited single-seater experience meant the GP3 rookie was unable to find a way past, and he was eventually passed on the final lap to finish 12th, his best result to date.
For the Leicestershire-based team’s other rookie driver Ringel, the weekend also showed great potential for the young American. After what he felt was a disappointing qualifying, the 21 year-old bounced back with a strong opening race to finish 14th and was confident of further improvement in the second race.
In Sunday’s race two Pal Kiss made a good start to make up a place and was able to match the pace of the leaders until his tyres went off at the mid-point while running in close formation behind another car. Despite his best efforts, he dropped a place to cross the line tenth, to secure another top ten finish.
The race however proved less than successful for both Wartique and Ringel. The Belgian made a great getaway to get up into ninth at the start only have to have his race ended on the opening lap by an over-ambitious move by another driver. For Ringel the race also finished prematurely by another driver, bringing his hopes of another strong finish crashing out with him.
Tamas Pal Kiss: “I had a good start in race one, but in the first corner one of my rivals hit the left rear of my car and I immediately felt that it was not 100% OK. At the next corner I had to go onto the run-off areas to avoid an accident and rejoined the track in 14th. From then on I pushed as hard as I could to catch the drivers in front of me and I managed to overtake some and finished ninth. I am sorry that I couldn't attack for 8th place at the end, but my tyres were fully gone off.
“I think P10 in the second race was the absolute maximum for me. I had a reasonably good start and stayed ninth. At the beginning of the race I was able to hold the pace of the frontrunners, but later I got stuck behind William Buller who was very difficult to overtake because he ran with a different wing setup and was faster in the straights. Finally, I managed to overtake him, but because of his advantage in the straights he was able to take back the position when my tyres were completely gone and my car started to vibrate. All in all, I am not too disappointed. The next race is the home race for my team, so I really hope I can score some good results in two weeks time in Silverstone."
John Wartique: “Free practice was good, I spent much of the time learning the track, which was very dusty though, and finished 19th. My qualifying was good and I was only 1.5 seconds off the pole time, which is definitely good progress, so I was happy with that. In the first race I was battling for 10th, but just couldn’t find a way past Buller, and lost 11th on the last lap. In the second I made a great start to move into eighth but then I was taken out of the race, destroying my car, which was very disappointing as I really think I could have had my first top ten finish. Overall I was happy to have made progress in qualifying and hope to be able to get a top ten at Silverstone.”
Ethan Ringel: “It was a pretty disappointing qualifying as I missed several apexes and had difficultly finding the correct reference points. However I was very happy with my performance in race one and delighted to get 14th. The second race was not so good though, as I was taken out early on which ruined any chance of capitalising on the good grid position. However, looking ahead to the next rounds at Silverstone in two weeks time, I’ll be pushing hard again to improve on my pace and hopefully get a top ten finish.”
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