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First point of GP2 season for De Jong in Hungary
Old 27 Jul 2015 12:14
 
Category: GP2/GP3
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Dutch GP2 Series racer Daniël De Jong claimed a hard-earned first points scoring finish of the 2015 season at the Hungaroring near Budapest over the weekend, 25th/26th July, following an excellent drive through the order for MP Motorsport during round 11.

Overcoming a challenging start to Saturday afternoon’s race, the 23-year-old made his late pit-stop strategy work perfectly as he carved his way through the order. Notably, he also produced pace a match for the top four to underline his continued improvement in the ultra-competitive category.

New team-mate Nicholas Latifi meanwhile, making his first appearance for the Westmaas-based squad and only his second ever outing in the FIA Formula One World Championship support series, posted a best result of 14th place in round 12 on Sunday morning.

“We’re all really pleased for Daniël, he’s deserved points more than once this season so to get his first of the year this weekend is fantastic – hopefully this will be a bit of a springboard for the rest of the season”, said MP Motorsport’s Tony Shaw, “Everyone enjoyed working with Nicholas for the first time this weekend, his pace was good and we’re looking forward to his next outing with us in GP2.”

Latifi started his maiden race in MP Motorsport colours from 12th on the grid, just half a second shy of the top six, with De Jong four places further back in 16th position and both drivers made clean starts with Latifi challenging for 10th position at Turn One before holding station in 12th on the exit.

Despite sustaining a broken front wing end plate after contact with Sergio Canamasas on lap two at the chicane, Latifi continued without drama and after the subsequent Safety Car period, he progressed up the order when the pit-stops began to be taken. Up into seventh prior to his own tyre change at the end of lap 10, the Canadian ultimately ended the 37 lap contest in 15th position.

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De Jong was bundled back to 19th place on lap one, even though he made a good start initially, but by lap 12 – with the early pit visits in the upper order being made – he was up into ninth place and driving very impressively.

Making his tyre strategy work well, De Jong moved into eighth and then seventh as the race entered its final third. Pitting at the end of lap 24, De Jong emerged back into the race on fresh Pirelli rubber back in 20th spot but he carved his way through the order with some textbook driving to climb into the points-paying top 10.

Frustratingly for the Dutch racer, a stall at the start of round 12 on Sunday morning meant he wasn’t able to try and capitalise on his fifth row grid start and after running outside the top 20 for the first part of the race he eventually retired early in the second half of the contest.

Latifi made progress initially into 13th position before being edged back to 14th place and then slipping to 16th position midway through the contest. Recovering back into the top 15 at around two thirds distance, he then climbed back into 14th position before the conclusion on lap 28 to post his best finish of the weekend.

Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps will host rounds 13 and 14 of the GP2 season over the weekend 22nd/23rd August.

Photos: Dutch Photo Agency
Tags: 2015 gp2series




 
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