DPR eager for better fortune in GP2 sprint race in Istanbul Park

DPR eager for better fortune in GP2 sprint race in Istanbul Park

26.08.2007: DPR eager for better fortune in GP2 sprint race in Istanbul Park

The first of the two races comprising the Turkish round of the GP2 Series in Istanbul took place today and it was prove another character building experience for the David Price Racing (DPR) team. One of the teamís drivers, Christian Bakkerud, was unable to take the start due to injury and the other, Andy Soucek, was forced to retire with accident damage after being an innocent victim of a first lap incident.

The weekend began with official practice yesterday and the first time that the DPR drivers had experienced the track in their GP2 machinery. Despite this Soucek showed plenty of promise, finishing the session 15th fastest. Bakkerud also completed the session, posting 21st fastest lap, although pain from his recent back injury made an unwelcome return. The team decided that Bakkerud should not participate in the qualifying session, hoping that the young Dane would be able to recover sufficiently to race today.

Soucek, as the sole representative of the team, was out on track for afternoon qualifying with a tense, tight battle for Feature race grid positions, and striving to get the best out of the hard compound tyres in extremely hot conditions. He ended up 19th fastest for a tenth row grid slot in todayís race. DPR arrived in Turkey with hopes of making it off the line in the points standings.

After seven rounds of the championship the Surrey-based team is still chasing its first points finishes, having narrowly missed out in many of the races. However, the opportunity slid away from the team again today. At the start of the race Soucek was off the line well, but going into the first turn Soucek was confronted with a spinning car of Mike Conway and unavoidably made contact with him, finishing his day before he had even completed the opening lap. Bakkerudís weekend of GP2 racing was aborted this morning.

Following the advice of FIA doctors at the track and consultations with them last night and this morning he will sit out the remainder of the weekend to make further recovery from his back problems. The Dane will travel to specialists in efforts to be fit for the next round of the Series in Monza, Italy.

David Price, Team Principal, David Price Racing, said of the teamís fortunes in Istanbul, "The dice arenít rolling in our favour once again. Andy was just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, thereís not much more you can say about the race today. Itís very disappointing that Christian hasnít managed to shake off his back problems. Heís very keen to race, but his health and safety are of paramount importance. "

The second GP2 race of the weekend takes place tomorrow morning at the Istanbul track, ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix in the afternoon. Soucek, due to his early retirement in todayís event, will start 23rd on the grid.

 

- Alison Hill -

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26.08.2007 / MaP

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