For both Racing Engineering drivers today’s qualifying session at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps turned out to be a bit of a lottery. The rain, together with numerous red flags, stopped Neel Jani and Borja Garcia obtaining better results than 15th and 20th position respectively.
Heavy rains settled in shortly before the GP2 qualifying, forcing the teams to go on track with their rain set-ups. While it rained throughout the entire session, the conditions became slightly more encouraging during the second half. However, this didn’t help the Racing Engineering’s drivers, as they were stopped by a series of red flags caused by Lapierre, Rosberg, Pantano and Piccione while running their fastest laps in the session.
Neel found his rhythm quickly and positioned himself in first place at the beginning of the session. When the Swiss driver came into the pits with a bit more than 18 minutes remaining, everything still seemed to be going really well, but after joining the track again three red flags stopped him during his fast laps and, although always improving his sector times, he wasn’t able to finish these laps.
Starting Saturday’s race from 15th position nevertheless leaves Neel with good opportunities to make it to the points, and he is determined to not only improve his position within the drivers overall standings, but also help Racing Engineering move into 4th position in the teams championship.
Borja Garcia met with a similar fate. Although he adapted to the track very quickly, as his excellent 6th position during the free practice demonstrated, Borja was also stopped by a red flag on each of his flying laps. He was clearly able to achieve a much better result than a 20th position on the grid for Saturday’s race, and the Spaniard is already looking ahead to race one tomorrow. He is convinced that a lot will be possible, as it will be a long race and weather forecasts are once more showing rain.
Once the qualifying session finished Neel Jani commented: "The car went really well. At the beginning of the session I was actually surprised to be first, as I wasn't pushing too hard. Then, however, all my fast laps were stopped by red flags. This was quite frustrating. Now we have to look ahead and see what we are able to do tomorrow."
Borja Garcia stated: "There was a lot of traffic on the track, and additionally the visibility was bad. It's a pity, as my car was good, and I am sure I could have done much better but all these red flags stopped me on my fast laps."
After a qualifying session rich with incidents Alfonso de Orleans declared: "We are obviously disappointed, but I think that Neel did a good job due to the fact that today was a bit of a lottery - rain, drying up, red flags. Lets see what tomorrow's race is going to be like."
1. G. Bruni Durango 2:14.273
2. A. Premat ART Grand Prix +0.388
3. N. Lapierre Arden International +0.435
4. H: Kovalainen Arden International +0.599
5. N. Piquet Jr. Hitech Piquet Sports +0.612
6. S. Speed iSport International +0.624
7. H. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion +0.890
8. A. Carroll Super Nova International +0.901
9. G. Pantano Super Nova International +0.956
10.J. Lopez DAMS +0.965
15.N. Jani Racing Engineering +1.596
20.B. Garcia Racing Engineering +2.893
- Racing Engineering Press- photo Maggy Parries
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