Valencia Qualify & Race 1
The final rounds of the 2007 GP2 season commenced today here at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia Spain, with a full day of on track activity. As the only stand-alone race of the year, free practice & qualifying were held this morning in hot, sunny weather, followed by the Feature race at 1600hrs.
Luca Filippi topped the time sheet in qualifying after just four laps, Mike Conway close behind, quickly demonstrating Super Nova’s clear potential. With just minutes to go amongst tough competition, the teams Italian driver jumped back up to qualify a pleasing third, & Mike 12th.
Early afternoon rain altered conditions, putting more emphasise on race strategy. Both Super Nova drivers started on wets, but unfortunately for Mike, he stalled on the grid, and so raced from the back. However as a result of a mistake made by the circuit, which claimed he was not one but two laps down, the British driver settled for 11th place, yet his pace evident he could have finished in the top ten.
Luca’s start was quick and the teams’ early pit stop call saw him in strong fifth position. All was looking set for a podium finish, when unluckily Lucas car suffered a fuel pump failure, which eventually forced him to retire 2 laps early, & out of the points.
Team Principal David Sears “It was a wet, dry race today. Our drivers started on wets along with most of the grid, but it was a difficult decision to make. After the early pit stop Luca was looking set to score some points, but frustratingly this didn’t happen, when his car suffered problems causing us to slip into fourth place in the championship. Mike showed good pace today, he had a dynamic but sadly unrewarding race. We can hope tomorrow is a better day to round off the season.”
Luca Filippi “We were going really well, & leading the group, with all the drivers in front on slicks. Then we started losing a massive four seconds a lap & I began dropping positions, which obviously I’m really unhappy about. Campos has put the pressure on us now, so we’ll just have to do our best, & see how things finish tomorrow.”
Mike Conway “We started on wets, but it was drying up, so I had push really hard at times, but still try to conserve the tyres as well. Even so the pace was good, and I manage to pass some cars. I did go off a couple of times where it had rained. Then there was some confusion with my position; we were being told I was two laps down, so I let the Arden car pass me. However we were misinformed, which means I will now start 11th not 16th! All in all it was pretty eventful race!”