Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Race Pace

The fourth round of the GP3 Series Championship got off to a good start at Silverstone for Marussia Manor Racing yesterday, as Adrian Quaife-Hobbs achieved the first pole position of the year for him and the team. His best lap of 1:51.190 put him nearly 0.4s clear of second place man James Calado. With only one second covering the top ten, it was another extremely competitive session. Rio Haryanto ended up only 0.7s away from the fastest time (1:51.932) and classified ninth, while Matias Laine was sixteenth.

It was then time for Marussia Manor Racing’s first race of the weekend in front of its home crowd. Yesterday’s race got underway under tricky conditions as it started to rain seconds before the formation lap. Adrian, who was on pole, was one of the 19 drivers that entered the pits to switch to wet Pirelli P-Zero tyres, starting the race from the pit lane.

It was very difficult to stay on track due to its conditions, with Adrian dropping down to 9th. Matias’ race was cut very short as he was forced off track by Maxim Zimin, who was penalised and suspended from Race 2.

Meanwhile, Adrian was showing the rest of the field that he meant business and after the first laps he was already 4th and within podium contention. Rio once again demonstrated good race pace again and was fighting for a points finish, ending up 11th. Adrian finally crossed the line in 4th position.

Today’s second race didn’t get off to a good start for Adrian as he stalled on the grid. But he recovered quickly and his race pace was soon quicker than the leaders of the race, posting the fastest lap of the race, a 1:52.916. Rio also confirmed he was fast and did some excellent moves. After starting from 11th on the grid, he finally crossed the line in 4th position after a very strong race, achieving his first three points of the season. Unfortunately, Matias’ race was over on lap 2 after he spun and was obliged to retire after breaking the floor of the car.

After Marussia Manor Racing’s home Grand Prix, Adrian is now 7th in the Championship with 18 points, 11 behind the leader, while Rio is 19th. The next round of the GP3 Series Championship will take place in Germany on 22-24 July.

Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal
“This is the level we should have been competing at since the beginning of the season – fighting for top positions and starting races from pole position. The team has worked very hard during the past few weeks and we can finally say that we are back in the fight for top positions. It’s always special to race on home soil and in front of the passionate British crowd. We started the weekend very well with Adrian on pole, but then we had unexpected difficulties at the start of both races that complicated things a bit. The good news is that we are quick.”

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
“Qualifying was a brilliant session and it felt great to finally end up on pole position and at our home race. It’s difficult to put into words how it feels. The team once again did a fantastic job and we have carried the momentum from our race in Valencia to here. Unfortunately we didn’t get off to a good start in either yesterday or today’s race, but I am happy because we have demonstrated that we are fast.”

Rio Haryanto
“I am happy to have finally finished a race in the points. It was a hard race today as we started from eleventh position, but I managed to perform well and finish 4th. We clearly have good race pace and if we carry on like this I’m sure the good results will continue to come.”

Matias Laine
“I wasn’t very lucky this weekend. On Friday I couldn’t complete many laps during the practice sessions and I wasn’t able to finish any races. Yesterday I was forced off track and today I had to retire after a spin where I broke the floor of the car, so it hasn’t really been a good weekend for me.”

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