Atech CRS GP Clinches Two Top Six Finishes Amid Chaotic GP3 Races

Atech CRS GP racer Tamas Pal Kiss finished sixth and fourth in the GP3 Series rounds at Hockenheim, amid two crash-strewn and weather-interrupted races that saw the safety car twice deployed, and just eight racing laps completed. Saturdays opening race saw the best performance by GP3 rookie Ethan Ringel, who had high hopes of a front row start for race two, laying eighth when the race was red-flagged due to severe weather.

Free practice at the German track saw just Pal Kiss and Ringel venture out on track for the Leicestershire-based team after John Wartique had been unable to secure the necessary financial backing to compete at the German Grand Prix support event. In changeable weather conditions, the duo both had trouble finding clear laps to back up their pre-season potential, in a session that was also interrupted by a power cut mid-way through. A 15-minute showdown to the flag netted ninth for the Hungarian, with Ringel 23rd.

In qualifying on Saturday, a disappointed Pal Kiss was unable to reproduce that pace after struggling with understeer, and for the weekends opening race, would line up 16th with Ringel 19th.

In the race later that afternoon, what had been expected to be a dry race was thrown into confusion when the rain came just minutes before the start. Starting behind the safety car, the race was red flagged after just one lap due to standing water, and at the restart a stirring drive by the Hungarian got him up to seventh, although he was later elevated to sixth, earning him a second row start for race two.

For Ringel, the opening race provided his best shot so far of a top result after a mature drive in the difficult conditions allowed him to get up to eighth, and the pole spot for race two, before the race was red-flagged on the grounds of safety. A 15 minute delay proved costly for the American, ruining his chances of taking up his first pole, and in treacherous conditions, where visibility was virtually non-existent, he went into the gravel, falling back to finish 18th.

Race two lasted little longer, with only three laps of race action, after two serious-looking crashes twice brought out the safety car. A strong drive into fourth place allows Pal Kiss to leave Germany with a useful points haul ahead of his own race at the Hungaroring next weekend, where he will be looking to convert that pace into a podium finish.

Another strong performance in race two allowed 18 year-old Ringel to make some progress, gaining two places on the opening lap. However with limited track running due to the two safety car periods, Ringel was unable to continue his charge, crossing the line 16th.

Tamas Pal Kiss: Race one was a really crazy one. We were running with totally dry setups on wet tyres, and under these extreme conditions it was a challenge on its own to complete a single lap without flying off the track. It was a cool experience, but it could have been better if I had a car with a wet setup, because I really love to drive on the limit and also in the wet. The track was so slippery and the visibility was so poor that we couldn't really fight with each other so actually I was happy to have simply my car home in one piece.

In the second race I had very good reaction time at the start and was able to go alongside Mitch Evans on the inside, but I couldn't overtake him as he didn't leave me enough space. He was a little too aggressive, because I was almost 100% alongside him and if I hadnt lifted then both of us would have probably ended the race in the pitwall. So I lifted the throttle and let him to go and tried to defend against Conor Daly, but he had much more speed in the straight passed me easily. Hopefully though we can get a good result at my home race, a podium would be nice!

Ethan Ringel: The rain started just before the opening race and we quickly changed to wet tyres, although the car was still with a dry set up. By the time the safety car released us I was 10th and then made it as high as eighth. Sadly they red-flagged the race, which allowed all the drivers to change their tyres. All was going well until Abt passed me for eighth, and a at that point the spray from his car blinded me. Once Evans passed me I moved over to see where I was going, and I was just past the braking zone and went into the gravel, losing 10 places.

In the second race I think the safety car was the front-runner for most of the race, and also the winner! I spent most of the race avoiding accidents. We knew before the race that turn six, a tight hairpin going from a long straight, was going to be a high risk corner so Im glad to get two finishes this weekend.

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