Ocean Racing Technology had a promising GP3 Series debut this weekend in Barcelona, with a top 10 finish. Kevin Ceccon secured the Portuguese team's first 2 points of the championship.
The qualifying sessions did not go wonderfully for the three drivers: Robert Cregan was credited with the 23rd best time, Carmen Jorda the 24th, and Kevin Ceccon was not able to clock a time due to a technical problem, which earned him a start from the last position on the grid.
Starting from the back of the pack, the Portuguese team therefore had a very difficult task for its first race. Kevin Ceccon had an excellent start that enabled him to move up 10 positions, but once again he was surprised by a technical problem that left his car immobilized on the track. As for Cregan and Jordan, they adapted well to the championship. The Irish driver, who was getting his feet wet in this formula for the first time, had a good race, finishing in an excellent 15th place. The Spanish driver finished in 20th place after also overtaking a few competitors for her first GP3 race. She kept up a good pace and was involved in several battles.
For the second race, which was held early Sunday morning, Kevin Ceccon, despite a start at the back of the grid, had a fantastic race that enabled him to climb up to 10th place. The end of the race again saw him put pressure on the driver in front of him. His very good result enabled him to secure 1 point, in addition to the point for the best race lap. With a time of 1'40.6, Kevin was he only driver in the top 10 to race under 1'41. Robert Cregan was caught in a collision involving several other drivers and was forced to retire, although he had been moving up in the classification. Carmen Jorda finished in 21st place in this second learning race. The Spanish driver probably could have secured a better result without the penalty assessed to her for an early start.
At the end of the weekend, Ceccon was satisfied, despite the problems encountered: "I am very content with what we did in the second race. My pace was much faster and I managed to move up to the top 10. I don't think we could have done any better. In qualifying, we were not able to complete a lap because of a technical problem. Considering that, this 10th place finish and two points are already a very good result, plus the pride of having been the only driver in the top 10 to race under 1'41," the young Italian driver declared.
Carmen Jorda was also satisfied with her work: "Many things happened over the weekend. I think that we made many improvements. There are still a lot of things I have to adapt to. In qualifying, I had some difficulties due to so many cars being on the track. In the first race, I think I improved and managed some good times. In the second race, the penalty prevented me from taking part in the fight," the Spanish driver declared.
Robert Cregan, who had a good first race, lamented the results of the second: "I was very content with the result of the first race. I found that we showed good progress. Unfortunately in the second race, starting 15th on the grid, I could have had a good result, but I got caught in an accident that forced me to abandon the race. Despite everything, I am content with the development and I hope to be even more competitive in the next race weekend."
For Tiago Monteiro: "The three drivers had to face many challenges and they managed to overcome the difficulties, each one in their own way. Our start in this championship was a bit turbulent, but I think we have great potential. I would like to congratulate everyone."
José Guedes also hailed the work by his team: "My congratulations to the drivers for the excellent work they did, to the technical crew, and to every part of the Ocean structure, with whom we managed in such a short amount of time to create the necessary conditions to take part in these first races and secure our first points. It is an excellent image of the ability of Portuguese companies to be able to fight it out on even footing in this sector, as competitive as the cutting edge of technology and international motor sports is."
The next GP3 Series race weekend will be May 24-26 in Monaco