DPR heads to Bahrain for season-opening GP2 race weekend

11.04.2007: DPR heads to Bahrain for season-opening GP2 race weekend

David Price Racing (DPR) enters its third season of GP2 Series competition this weekend, with the first two races taking place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Drivers Andy Soucek and Christian Bakkerud will be driving the brace of GP2 racers for this Surrey-based race team.

Winter testing has given the team the necessary track preparations for the forthcoming season, with the two drivers putting in strong performances at Barcelona, Spain and Paul Ricard, France. Attentions now turn to racing and the first two rounds of the 2007 Series, supporting the FIA Formula One World Championship at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. Soucek and Bakkerud have been busy keeping their fitness at peak levels, in readiness for the extreme heat of the Middle Eastern location for the first race weekend.

Soucek, 21, with Austrian-Spanish nationality, graduates from World Series by Renault to take his place on the grid of 26 drivers, with half of these contenders similarly of rookie status. He says of the forthcoming weekend,

"Itís difficult to judge just how competitive we will be in Bahrain. Weíve done all the preparation we can and Iíve been working hard on my fitness. An hour in the gym and six hours of kite surfing each day for the last week or so has pushed me to the limit, so now Iíll concentrate on race driving. Thereís a very high level of talent in GP2 series, with everyone having accolades behind them which puts them in the running to be a championship contender. For me, the first race aim is to be a top ten finisher in the first race and Iíll be doing my best to bring home the best result possible."

22-year-old Dane, Bakkerud, joins the GP2 Series from the British F3 championship and is looking ahead to an exciting year of racing. He explains,

"Itís quite a big step up to GP2 for me. The carís quite different, thereís the art of pitstops to learn and, being with the F1 championship, this adds another dimension. My knowledge of the Bahrain circuit is limited to a dayís running in Formula BMW cars that Andy and I did a few weeks ago. It does mean that we know the circuit and itís one less lerarning process, so that might be an advantage to us with the limited practice available to us at the weekend. My first goal is to finish within the top ten and Iíll be happy. If I can score points Iíd be even more happy."

 

David Price, Principal, DPR, will return for the third season of GP2, and the second visit to Bahrain, with the venue left off the calendar last year. He says of the teamís prospects,

"The opening round of any Series is always one of the less predictable and Bahrain is no different. Weíve prepared as well as we can, running well in testing and bringing Andy and Christian up to speed with the handling of the cars, integrating them into the team and developing our performance as they gained experience of the GP2 car and DPR. Now we go racing and translate this work into the competitive environment of the Grand Prix weekends."

The GP2 Series is the final step on the ladder for young talent aiming to reach Formula One and its success is evident, with 2005 GP2 title winner Nico Rosberg now driving for Williams F1 and last yearís champion Lewis Hamilton, racing in the Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes team.

 

- Alison Hill-

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11.04.2007 / MaP

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