Sunday, July 31, 2011

Successful Weekend

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Rio Haryanto won his second GP3 Series race of the season today at the Hungaroring in Budapest and becomes the second driver after Championship leader Valteri Bottas to win more than one race this season. The early morning rain didn’t frighten Rio, who came home to another brilliant win after starting from 9th on the grid. After today’s win and yesterday’s podium finish, the 6th round of the GP3 Series Championship was a successful weekend for Marussia Manor Racing.

The weekend began with two busy Free Practice sessions on Friday, both interrupted by red flags due to a crash involving Luciano Bacheta in the morning and because of Gabby Chaves stopping at turn 10 in the afternoon. That didn’t leave much track time for the drivers. Nearly half of the field traded turns at the top of the timesheet, with all three Marussia Manor Racing drivers ending up in the top 16 in both sessions and within a second from the best time.

On Saturday morning the qualifying session took place. Adrian was the first to break the 1 minute 39s barrier to go top of the timesheet in the frenetic first minutes of qualifying, as the 30 drivers battled hard to find clean air. Rio was the fastest Marussia Manor Racing driver, qualifying 6th after establishing a best time of 1:37.396, 0.6s off the pole position time. Adrian ended up 9th with a best time of 1:37.515 and Matias was classified 16th and also within a second behind poleman Valteri Bottas.

Adrian got off to an excellent start in Saturday’s 16-lap race, and by the end of the first lap he had stormed up to 3rd position. From then on he was locked in a long battle with Alexander Sims and Nico Müller for the final podium placing. With Rio fighting for 9th position and Matias battling for 14th, Adrian was pushing hard for 3rd and in the final few laps he found himself defending just as hard from a charging Müller. But it was Adrian who finally crossed the line in 3rd position, achieving his second podium finish of the season and adding 6 more valuable points to his tally. Rio finished 9th and Matias was 14th.

Today’s second race began in rainy conditions. Rio stormed up to the front of the field quickly after starting the race from 9th position. Unfortunately Adrian stalled but Matias got off to a good start and delivered his best race of the season so far, running in 9th position until the final laps. The track was wet and slippery but Rio managed to stay out of trouble and manage the two Safety Car periods perfectly, crossing the line in first position. Adrian ended up 11th and Matias finished 22nd.

Pete Sliwinski, Team Principal
“The good results just keep coming and you can get used to this very quickly. It’s great to end up on the podium so frequently. I’m delighted with the results in the last races – we have won 3 races in the last 4 race weekends. We have to continue working in this direction and get the best out of the final two rounds of the Championship.”

Rio Haryanto
“It’s fantastic to celebrate another win only a week after winning in Germany. I’m so happy! It has been another positive weekend for me and the team, who are doing an excellent job. It’s the perfect way to get to the summer break.”

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
“I’m really happy to have achieved another podium finish. It’s such a great feeling! Even though the weekend didn’t start as well as we expected, we didn’t let that affect us. We knew that this was a track that suited us, as in the mid-season test at the beginning of June here in Budapest we did a good job and were always in the top positions. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish in the points today but I am happy with my weekend.”

Matias Laine
“It’s been a good weekend. We were in much better form here in Budapest and I was much closer to the top times. My race pace was also better and I am happy to see that we are making progress.”

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