for Racing Engineering
In an excellent qualifying session for tomorrow’s Feature Race at Barcelona Fabio Leimer qualified second fastest and Nathanaël Berthon tenth for Racing Engineering.
The 30 minute morning practice session took place in warm, sunny conditions. Adopting the strategy they have used in the previous GP2 weekends both of the Racing Engineering drivers waited until the session was nearly half over before setting a time.Concentrating on their car set-ups, and using the harder Pirelli tyres, neither Fabio Leimer nor Nathanaël Berthon went for a fast lap and with both men completing 6 laps each, at the end of the session Leimer was 11th fastest with a time of 1:31.799 and Berthon was 22nd fastest with a lap of 1:32.322.
The qualifying session took place under sunny skies with an air temperature of 29° and a very hot track temperature of 45°. Most of the GP2 teams took to the track early in the session and with just seven minutes gone both of the Racing Engineering cars were immediately on the pace with Leimer setting the 4th fastest time with Berthon just behind in 8th.
Returning to the pits to switch to the softer Pirelli tyres Leimer waited until there were just seven minutes of the session left to return to the track and set a very fast time of 1:30.865 which was good enough for the second fastest lap and a front row start for Saturday’s race.
In what was comfortably his best qualifying session of the season so far Berthon set the 10th fastest time with a lap of 1:31.308, less than half a second slower than his team-mate.
Starting from the front row of the grid gives Leimer an excellent chance of taking victory in the Feature Race and with a start from the 5th row Berthon, with his proven overtaking ability, will be looking for a strong points scoring finish.
Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering:"Excellent! Fabio on the front row and both drivers in the top 10. This is the best result so far this season and we have to say that both the drivers and the engineers did a great job this afternoon to get ready for qualifying. Congratulations also to the mechanics for a job well done. Now we have to get ready for tomorrow."
Fabio Leimer:"A very good qualifying, everything went very well for me. I had some traffic on my quick lap but second place on the grid is very good. I will try and make a good start tomorrow and move up to first place. I am very happy for the team; they have given me a very good car ."
Nathanaël Berthon:"I am quite happy; this was my best qualifying of the year. We had a really good strategy, saving a set of new tyres for tomorrow’s race which should help when the others struggle at the end of the race. I would like to thank all the team at Racing Engineering for a very good car."