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April 23, 2012
GP2: Non-Points Scoring Start for Barwa Addax Team

Johnny Cecotto challenged for podium position in race one of the Bahrain doubleheader (Photo: GP2 Series Media Services)
Johnny Cecotto challenged for podium position in race one of the Bahrain doubleheader
(Photo: GP2 Series Media Services)

BAHRAIN (April 22, 2012) - Barwa Addax Team had another complicated weekend in the first of the two meetings that are taking place at the Bahrain circuit. Neither of the two team drivers, Johnny Cecotto and Dani Clos, managed to get any sort of result in the two races this weekend. The team appeared in the leading positions in both the race and the training sessions, but despite this they were unable to finish in points scoring positions.

Cecotto has shown a great improvement in adapting to both the car and the team. They had a very good qualification and lined up on the start of the grid for the first race in fifth position. He made a very good start and moved up to third place, but after a rather unfortunate pit stop he was fighting to get back into a podium position and his race rhythm was excellent. Disaster struck when Nasr closed on him on one corner and the subsequent collision left him out of the race. A real shame for Cecotto because he really looked set for a podium placed finish which would have guaranteed him a good number of points and also well placed for Sunday’s second sprint race. Starting from so far back on the grid for the shorter of the two races is very tough but the important thing is the driver feels much more comfortable with the car and this has raised hopes that he will do things better this coming weekend on the same circuit.

Clos has been at a great disadvantage due to the lack of mileage and the fact that he is not familiar with the tyres for this season. In his first appearance with the team he has shown his driving abilities. He qualified in a mid field position because he was continuously hampered by traffic on the track. After a great start he moved up to the ninth position. After an early pit stop, he started to set the fastest race lap times, but after the safety car was brought into action, which grouped up the cars, he found that he had no grip left in the tyres and he started to lose rhythm and positions and was later forced to retire. In the second race, he had more of a starring role finishing 11th, having started the race in 19th and was involved in some great battles in the main group of drivers.

"We had another very unlucky weekend," commented Cecotto. "I came to Bahrain without knowing the track, but was immediately competitive and after a quiet good qualifying, although I made a little mistake and it cost us the first row, but we were very happy because we made a big step forward from Malaysia. In race one, I had a very good start and placed myself third managing to stay very close to Gutierrez for the whole time before the pit stop, unluckily we had a bad pit stop and lost six seconds, after that I was fighting a very big group. In lap 16, Nasr braked 15 meters too early for a corner I went for the inside as soon as I went he started to close and I tried to back out because he didn't leave me the space, I turned with my car completely on the curb but he still didn't leave me even a few centimeters to stay on track and we came to the contact. Race two started bad because I slightly moved before the lights went off and them at the first corner there was big chaos and we touched with another car. I hope that next weekend here we will have more luck."

"It has been a complicated weekend," added Clos. "I was told to race this weekend at the last moment. In the qualifying session we had some troubles and did not manage to get a clear lap, this caused we had to start in a complicated position for the first race. A brake piece on the pedals was disengaged and handicapped my braking performance. We chose a very aggressive set up for the first race and this killed our tyres when the safety car entered. The comeback from rear was great, but I had to leave because every lap was becoming more and more dangerous keeping on track. The second race has been quite positive, many overtakings and clear laps, we managed to retrieve much positions and finally we did a good job. We still have a lot of work to do to improve and to be ahead, but we got a good feedback and now we have some days to prepare next round here and doing better."
Pacific Mountain Central Eastern International

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