Winning return for Razia and Arden

Luiz Razia and Arden International got their 2012 GP2 Series campaign off to the best possible start after securing the feature race honours at Sepang, the venue for the opening round of the 2012 GP2 Series.

For Razia, the victory marked his first in GP2 since 2009 while for Arden; it was their first victory since the beginning of the 2010 campaign.

Having seen the original start aborted due to two stallers on the grid, Razia made the best start on the restart to take the lead immediately from Pole man Davide Valsecchi and the Brazilian never looked back, taking the chequered flag after thirty laps by 7.8s from Valsecchi.

Speaking about the race, Razia said: “I made a very good start and was able to open a sizeable lead during the first six laps. I tried to maintain a consistent pace, to extend tyre life, and radioed in to make a pit stop just before half-distance, as soon as I sensed that the tyres were starting to go off a little. We just fitted fresh rears, which was the correct call, and after that I ran at a slightly reduced pace to keep my tyres fresh at the end, just in case.

“Davide was very quick in the middle of the race, but less so towards the end and I was able to finish without any pressure. It was still very difficult, though, trying to adopt a sensible pace and monitoring what tyre strategies our rivals adopted. It has been a good day and I am now focusing on tomorrow. I hope to make another good start and will see how things progress. It will be tough making a single set of tyres last, so astute judgment will again be critical.”

For Simon Trummer, his first race of the season was a story of contact – having been collected on the opening lap at turn four before later being involved with Rodolfo Gonzalez as he finished twenty first overall.

GP3 Graduate Trummer said about his race: “I got away well and had passed several cars by the time I reached Turn Four, but somebody then hit me from behind. That caused damage to the rear of the car and upset the balance, so I made an early tyre stop and we changed all four wheels. My pace was quite good after that. I’m happy to have finished, but less so about the incident at the start. I hope to do better tomorrow.”

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Front row for Razia on Arden return

Luiz Razia

Luiz Razia starts his second spell as an Arden International driver on the front row of the grid after a tight qualifying session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, the venue for the opening weekend of the 2012 GP2 Series.

The Brazilian driver drove for Arden in the 2008/2009 GP2 Asia Series started off with a seventh place result  in practice before moving up the order in qualifying, and he finished the session with a 1m45.554s.

Razia is pleased with how the day went but feels that the hard work is still yet to come: “This has been a very good day for the team – and the same is true for me. To qualify at the front has been a great confidence booster, although the oppressive climate here makes racing tough, no matter where you line up. There’s always a chance of rain, too, so I’m expecting things to be difficult.

“It is important to remain focused, to minimise any risk of error, and we have to keep an eye on the strategic permutations. The situation has changed this season, with the adoption of different tyre compounds, and we need to look at the data to see whether it’s best to choose hard-hard or medium-hard for the race. One of the key objectives today was to save tyres for the race – and we managed to do that while lapping quickly. It has been a very positive start, but the hardest bit lies ahead.”

Razia’s team-mate is GP3 graduate Simon Trummer. Having made his debut in the non Championship GP2 Final at Abu Dhabi, he will start his first main series race from row twelve, as he learns about the cut and thrust nature of GP2.

He admits that he is disappointed with how his qualifying went as team-mate Razia proved that the potential is there for the team: “I know there is potential in the car – Luiz proved that much – so I have to be a little disappointed with my own result. I was happy enough with the way things were going and felt fairly sure I could qualify in the top half of the field, but I didn’t manage a clear lap on my final run and slipped back to 24th. It is all part of the learning process, though, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to move forward in the race.”

Kral and Arden denied Abu Dhabi Podium.

Josef Kral and the Arden International team were denied a podium finish during the feature race of the season finishing GP2 Final at Abu Dhabi, after being spun out of contention at the first corner.

Having lined up third after Friday’s qualifying session, the Czech racer was ahead of Dani Clos heading into the first corner but he was on the outside line and the two cars touched as they attempted to take the corner two abreast.

Kral was spun out of contention and dropped to the rear of the field, where he then had to restrict the damage on his race.

He managed to recover to fifteenth position before more contact, this time with GP3 graduate Nigel Melker. He suffered front wing damage in the collision and despite racing on for a few laps with the damage, he was then forced to pit for repairs and he finished a lap down in twentieth position.

“I got a good start and thought I was in a strong position to get ahead of Dani Clos,” explained Kral. “I couldn’t see that he had Luiz Razia to his inside, though, so the situation was a bit more cramped than I realised. I tried to move left, but Clos was coming to the right and we touched, which caused me to spin and damaged my rear suspension. After that I pushed as hard as I could and gained a few positions after my pit stop, but then I came up against Nigel Melker. He was very aggressive and I ended up losing part of my front wing. I continued to drive as quickly as I could, but then I had to pit again and the day turned into a bit of a disaster.

“There are no pit stops in tomorrow’s race and there is no chance to gain a strategic advantage, but I’ll do what I can to make up ground from a lowly grid position.”

GP2 debutant and team-mate Simon Trummer had a solid opening lap as he moved up to eighteenth from his starting position of twenty second and was able to lap consistently alongside the lower end of the midfield until his race came to a premature end after a collision with Jake Rosenzweig.

Trummer is looking to learn from his race ending mistake but admits that he faces an uphill task in the second Abu Dhabi race: “The race began well enough, but the balance of my car changed on the second set of tyres and I lost front-end grip. That’s partly why I made a mistake and crashed out at Turn Eight. It hasn’t been the greatest of starts to my GP2 career, but I’ll learn from it and move on. I face an uphill battle tomorrow, but I’ll do the best I can.”

Kral, Trummer for GP2 Finale with Arden.

Arden International has today announced that Josef Kral and GP3 Series graduate Simon Trummer will be the drivers for the team during the GP2 Finale at Yas Marina this weekend, 12/13 November.

Czech Republic driver Kral has been with the team since the start of the season, having driven for the team in both the GP2 Asia and GP2 Main Series campaigns and he secured points in both Championships, as well as a podium finish at Spa-Francorchamps.

The last time Kral visited the Yas Marina circuit, he finished in the points in the points scoring positions and on the podium.

Kral said about the announcement: “I am very happy to be back in the team where I raced all season. I hope that we can build on the experience what we gained throughout the season and hopefully turn in to some good results in Abu Dhabi.”

Trummer spent the 2011 campaign racing in GP3, for the MW Arden outfit and during the two post season tests; he secured some successful results and proved himself within a GP2 car.

The opportunity to race for Arden in the GP2 finale is a season highlight for Trummer, as he explains: “It is definitely my season highlight to race with such a great team as Arden in Abu Dhabi! I’m so happy that I have this chance! After a great test I feel really comfortable with the car and in the team. I feel like I have raced for them all my career, so I will give my best for do a good job and I hope we will are successful!”

As announced by the GP2 series organisers, the trip to Yas Marina is for a one-off non championship event alongside the penultimate round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The unique event will see all thirteen teams take part in the event and Pirelli, the official tyre supplier to GP2 and GP3 have offered a financial reward to the top two GP3 series graduates. Trummer is eligible for this reward.

Garry Horner announced that he is pleased with the teams’ line up for the Abu Dhabi trip: “I am pleased that both Josef and Simon will be racing with us in Abu Dhabi. It is great to continue our relationship with Josef into this event at Yas Marina, where he has had successful results both in testing and racing. Having tested Simon in both the GP2 post-season tests with good results, we are pleased to give Simon the opportunity to move up into a GP2 car and stay within the Arden team.”

Felix da Costa Secures Final GP3 Victory of 2011.

The final round of the 2011 GP3 series saw Antonio Felix da Costa (Status Grand Prix) secure his first victory in the series in a thrilling race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Felix da Costa secured the honours during a dramatic final race which saw James Calado (Lotus ART) cross the line second, before being given a twenty second penalty for failing to take his drive through penalty, for his part in the incident with Mitch Evans (MW Arden).

This demoted Calado to fourteenth and promoted Rio Haryanto (Marussia Manor Racing) to second while Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) rounded out the podium finishers.

The Portuguese driver took an early lead as the lights went out but Pole Sitter Evans fought back a lap later. Conor Daly (Carlin) held third at the start but he was the first driver to see his race end early after Champion Valtteri Bottas (Lotus ART) hit him up the rear at Ascari, the Finnish driver getting a drive through penalty for the collision. Bottas team-mate, Calado, had fought his way into the lead, having moved ahead of both Felix da Costa and Evans.

The top six drivers were running nose to tail and they were covered by less than two seconds. This created a fierce battle and just behind the leading duo, Evans, Muller and Simon Trummer (MW Arden) were engaged in a three way battle for third.

Evans was soon the driver on the move, as he first moved into second before grabbing the lead from the GP3 Vice Champion. Calado came straight back at Evans but three laps later, it all ended in tears as Calado went wide and tapped Evans, which put the New Zealander out of the race.

This gave Felix da Costa the opportunity to move into the lead and soon enough, Calado was awarded a drive through penalty. He failed to respond to it and crossed the line second, but was given a twenty second time penalty.

Calado’s penalty saw Haryanto and Muller promoted to second and third respectively, while the top six was completed by Trummer, Callum MacLeod (Carlin) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Marussia Manor Racing).

Had it not been for the penalty, Calado could have tied with Bottas if he had secured the victory and the fastest lap of the race as Bottas finished down in seventeenth position, scoring no points but he did secure the fastest lap of the race.

Nigel Melker rounded out the Championship top three, despite not finishing the final race of the season. He finished with 38 Points, two points ahead of Muller, who finished fourth overall. Quaife-Hobbs rounded out the Championship top five, level on points with Muller.

Monza GP3 Race 2 Results:

Position

Number

Driver

Team

1

5

A. Felix da Costa

Status Grand Prix

2

11

R. Haryanto

Marussia Manor Racing

3

7

N. Muller

Jenzer Motorsport

4

27

S. Trummer

MW Arden

5

15

C. Macleod

Carlin

6

10

A. Quaife-Hobbs

Marussia Manor Racing

7

24

G. Chaves

Addax Team

8

17

A. Vainio

Tech 1 Racing

9

23

T. Dillmann

Addax Team

10

28

L. Williamson

MW Arden

11

30

M. Christensen

RSC Mucke Motorsport

12

19

T. Pal Kiss

Tech 1 Racing

13

20

M. Stockinger

Atech CRS GP

14

3

J. Calado

Lotus ART

15

29

D. Mancinelli

RSC Mucke Motorsport

16

8

M. Zimin

Jenzer Motorsport

17

2

V. Bottas

Lotus ART

18

25

V. Ghirelli

Addax Team

19

1

R. Stanaway

Lotus ART

20

9

C.Hurni

Jenzer Motorsport

DNF

26

M. Evans

MW Arden

DNF

31

N. Melker

RSC Mucke Motorsport

DNF

21

N. Yelloly

Atech CRS GP

DNF

16

L. Cordeiro

Carlin

DNF

12

M. Laine

Marussia Manor Racing

DNF

22

Z. Amberg

Atech CRS GP

DNF

6

I. Lukashevich

Status Grand Prix

DNF

4

A. Sims

Status Grand Prix

DNF

18

T. Hylkema

Tech 1 Racing

DNF

14

C. Daly

Carlin

Bottas Secures GP3 Crown with Monza Victory.

Valtteri Bottas and his Lotus ART team will head into the final race of the 2011 GP3 season as Champions after a fourth win of the season for the Finnish driver secured the crown, ahead of his Lotus ART team-mate James Calado, who followed Bottas home for the team’s third one, two finish on the trot.

Second, behind Bottas was enough for Calado to secure the Vice Champion position in the Championship, while the battle for third overall will be decided during the final race of the season.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Marussia Manor Racing) made a good start from Pole Position to retain the lead of the race from Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) but it was Champion Elect Bottas who made the best start.

From fifth on the grid, the flying Finn was third before the first corner – having taken the positions from Rio Haryanto (Marussia Manor Racing) and Mitch Evans (MW Arden), while Calado held station in sixth.

The nature of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza meant that the battle for the podium positions was a furious battle, Muller and Quaife-Hobbs battling over the race lead while Haryanto was the first driver to make a move on Bottas – this left the Finn in the clutches of his British team-mate.

A few laps later and the Marussia Manor Racing team received a double blow as Quaife-Hobbs lost the lead of the race to Muller while Haryanto was overtaken by Bottas for the final podium position. Bottas then moved ahead of Quaife-Hobbs as the top three ran side by side.

Calado was soon on the move up the field, as he moved ahead of Evans and Haryanto, while up ahead, the battles continued to rage until Quaife-Hobbs ended his race in the barriers at Ascari and the Safety Car was deployed on lap ten.

With three laps remaining after the Safety Car was withdrawn, Calado prepared an attack on his team-mate and by the closing lap, he was right on the tail of Bottas, looking to get ahead to ensure the title battle went to the final race of the season.

However, Bottas defended and kept the place until the flag, where he was confirmed as the 2011 GP3 Champion, while the final podium position went the way of Haryanto after he came out on top of the duel with Muller.

Simon Trummer (MW Arden) finished an impressive fifth ahead of Conor Daly (Carlin), Antonio Felix da Costa (Status Grand Prix), Evans, Nigel Melker (RSC Mucke Motorsport) and Richie Stanaway (Lotus ART) – Stanaway was later penalised ten places on the grid for the final race of the season.

So at the end of the race, the new Champion was greeted by the team in Parc Ferme.

The final race of the 2011 GP3 Series will see Evans starting on Pole Position, and is due to get underway at 09.20 local time.

GP3 Series Monza Race 1 Result:

Position

Number

Driver

Team

1

2

V. Bottas

Lotus ART

2

3

J. Calado

Lotus ART

3

11

R. Haryanto

Marussia Manor Racing

4

7

N. Muller

Jenzer Motorsport

5

27

S. Trummer

MW Arden

6

14

C. Daly

Carlin

7

5

A. Felix da Costa

Status Grand Prix

8

26

M. Evans

MW Arden

9

31

N. Melker

RSC Mucke Motorsport

10

1

R. Stanaway

Lotus ART

11

15

C. Macleod

Carlin

12

30

M. Christensen

RSC Mucke Motorsport

13

16

L. Cordeiro

Carlin

14

18

T. Hylkema

Tech 1 Racing

15

29

D. Mancinelli

RSC Mucke Motorsport

16

9

C.Hurni

Jenzer Motorsport

17

24

G. Chaves

Addax Team

18

28

L. Williamson

MW Arden

19

20

M. Stockinger

Atech CRS GP

20

12

M. Laine

Marussia Manor Racing

21

4

A. Sims

Status Grand Prix

22

17

A. Vainio

Tech 1 Racing

DNF

23

T. Dillmann

Addax Team

DNF

10

A. Quaife-Hobbs

Marussia Manor Racing

DNF

21

N. Yelloly

Atech CRS GP

DNF

19

T. Pal Kiss

Tech 1 Racing

DNF

6

I. Lukashevich

Status Grand Prix

DNF

22

Z. Amberg

Atech CRS GP

DNF

25

V. Ghirelli

Addax Team

DNF

8

M. Zimin

Jenzer Motorsport

Spa sees Trummer Record Points Finish.

Simon Trummer Heads to his first points of 2011.

The second race of the GP3 weekend at Spa saw the strongest drive of the season for MW Arden and Simon Trummer, as he picked up two Championship points for fifth position, having started back in nineteenth position.

Swiss racer Trummer has shown glimpses of potential as the season has progressed but he has been thwarted in his attempts to break into the point scoring positions.

This all changed as everything fell into place for Trummer. Having started nineteenth on the grid, he soon found himself tenth and from then on, he worked his way into the top five, briefly moving into fourth ahead of Michael Christensen (RSC Mucke Motorsport) but the young Dane regained the position and beat Trummer by half a second.

Afterwards, Trummer said about his race: “Conditions were tricky at the start, because some parts of the track were quite slippery and obviously we were on dry tyres. I made sure I kept my nose clean at the start and then concentrated on sticking to the driest parts of the circuit. Everything seemed to be going well and I was up to 10th within a couple of laps and eighth by lap four. Championship leader Valtteri Bottas had some kind of technical problem, so I was able to pass him, and a couple of others made mistakes, so in the closing stages I was up to fifth and catching Michael Christensen. I didn’t take any risks, though, because I didn’t want to compromise my first point’s finish of the year. It was a good race and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

In stark contrast to the result Trummer recorded, Lewis Williamson and Mitch Evans both had frustrating races. Williamson, who was due to start ninth encountered problems on the final warm up lap and thus had to be wheeled into the pits.

Williamson describes his problems on the warm up lap: “What can I say? The engine defaulted to safety mode during the warm-up lap. It happened twice, in fact, although I was able to restart on both occasions. It wouldn’t rev beyond 2,000rpm, though, and eventually jammed in safety mode so I had to return to the pits. It seems I suffered some kind of throttle sensor failure.”

Team-mate Evans did take the start from P11 on the grid but his race was all over just after the start, after contact from another car ended his race.

The young New Zealander said about what happened: “I made a good start and moved immediately up to 10th, but there was all sorts of chaos on the opening lap and another driver hit me in the side. That punctured a hole in my oil cooler, so that was that. A short day at the office, sadly.”

Picture Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP3 Media Service