Tag Archives: Fabio Leimer

GP2

GP2 Monaco

GP2 SERIES BACK ON TRACK IN JEREZ-

First three-day pre-season test session opens tomorrow in Spain
 
The 2013 GP2 Series officially kicks off tomorrow for the first test session of the year at Circuito de Jerez in Spain. Teams and drivers have gathered at the Spanish track for three days in order to prepare for the ninth season of the category which will open in twenty-four days in Sepang, Malaysia.
 
Fresh faces mix with familiar ones as the field reshuffles. Reigning champions DAMS will try and retain their crown and trust Marcus Ericsson and Stéphane Richelmi to help them in that challenge whilst last year’s rivals ART Grand Prix have bet on 2012 GP2 best rookie James Calado and 2012 GP3 Series runner-up Daniel Abt. Last season’s Monaco king Johnny Cecotto Jr has moved to Arden International and will be partnered with 2012 GP3 Series Champion Mitch Evans.
 
Local heroes Racing Engineering will start this new season with returnees Fabio Leimer and Julian Leal whilst Carlin have chosen to put their faith in Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer, and Barwa Addax Team have bet on Jake Rosenwzeig and Rio Haryanto. First driver to be signed for 2013, Stefano Coletti has moved to Rapax along with Simon Trummer. Newcomers MP Motorsport have announced they will be debuting in GP2 with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Daniel de Jong.
 
It will be a real test for Caterham Racing’s Sergio Canamasas and Ma Qing Hua in Jerez along with Nathanaël Berthon and Robin Frijns at Trident as both squads have yet to confirm their 2013 line up. Also new to the Series, Hilmer Motorsport will make their first appearance with returnees Tom Dillmann and Pal Varhaug at the wheel, whilst Venezuela GP Lazarus – who have already signed Rene Binder for the season – will test Kevin Giovesi this week.
 
Lastly, iSport International will not take part in this week’s session in the hopes of focusing on finding a new partner for the season and expect to be joining the rest of the field next week in Barcelona for the second and final pre-season test session.
 
Pirelli have selected two different compounds for these three days: Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option). Each driver will be supplied with five sets of Prime and two sets of Option.
 
The session will start tomorrow at 09:00 local time and will run until 12:00. After a two hour break, the proceedings will resume until 17:00.

GP2

Van der Garde surges to Singapore victory
 
Dutchman on top in final race of the season…
 
Giedo van der Garde gave his rivals a racing masterclass with a dominant win from lights to flag in this afternoon’s sprint race in Singapore, easily leading home Marcus Ericsson and Fabio Leimer in the last race of the 2012 season.
 
The Dutchman’s victory was set up when the lights went out: a good start from pole was enough to hold fellow front row starter Ericsson and a hard charging Luiz Razia, while a poor start by Felipe Nasr was enough to hold up 2012 champion Davide Valsecchi momentarily and allow Leimer to sneak past into P4 at the first corner.
 
Van der Garde and Ericsson ran like a train, leaving their rivals well behind, with Stefano Coletti the only other driver on their pace as he scythed through the field and up into the points by lap 4, while in front of him Valsecchi and Esteban Gutierrez were battling fiercely over fifth place and a win in the teams’ championship.
 
A final safety car period was brought into being when Rene Binder tagged the inside kerb and spun to a halt in the middle of the final corner, bunching the field up once again, but a restart a few laps later was easily controlled by van der Garde, who continued his march ever onwards.
 
Leimer, however, was showing the determination he has become known for this year and hounded the new vice champion at every turn, filling Razia’s mirrors with red and yellow every time he looked: the Brazilian held on until the final lap, when Leimer got his nose inside at turn 16 and had a clear run to the next corner.
 
When the clock ran down it was van der Garde who was greeted by the chequered flag 1.7 seconds ahead of Ericsson, while Leimer punched the air with joy for third. Razia was a disappointed man in fourth, just unable to add a tenth podium to his total for the season, while Valsecchi held on against Gutierrez for fifth and Nasr making amends for his poor start by stealing seventh from Coletti late in the race.
With the 2012 GP2 season now completed, Davide Valsecchi is the new champion ahead of Luiz Razia and Esteban Gutiérrez, while DAMS managed a clean sweep by taking the teams’ championship from Lotus GP and Arden.
Singapore – Sprint Race
Driver
Team
1.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
2.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
3.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
4.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
5.
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
6.
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
7.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
8.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
9.
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
10.
James Calado
Lotus GP
11.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
12.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
13.
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
14.
Simon Trummer
Arden International
15.
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
16.
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
17.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
18.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
19.
Max Chilton
Carlin
20.
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
21.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax
22.
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing

GP2

Gutiérrez claims victory in dramatic feature
 
Mexican inherits win from Leimer
 
Esteban Gutiérrez has taken his second feature race victory in a row with a strong display in changeable conditions this afternoon in Silverstone. The Mexican’s win was aided when race leader Fabio Leimer failed to pit during a safety car period, and he held on to the flag ahead of Johnny Cecotto and Julian Palmer.
 
With torrential rain flooding the circuit just ahead of the start, the race director had little choice but to start the race behind the safety car, with Felipe Nasr, Davide Valsecchi and Stefano Coletti taking advantage of the delay to make their pitstop on lap six, one ahead of the race running live at last.
 
Poleman Leimer made a strong start when released to easily lead Cecotto and Palmer into the first corner ahead of Gutiérrez and Lotus teammate James Calado, while behind them Nigel Melker was on the rampage, scalping Luiz Razia and Max Chilton for P6 before the lap was done. But no one could do anything about the pace of the race leader, who set a string of fastest laps to build a substantial lead in short order.
 
Gutiérrez was the first of the leading group to change tyres, coming in from P4 on lap 15 and returning to the circuit in P12, with Calado following his lead next time through. Palmer also pitted a couple of laps later, but lost a place to the Mexican in the process, and as he exited his countryman Calado stopped on track just by the pitlane exit, prompting a safety car period to remove the stricken vehicle.
 
Next time round all of the remaining leaders dived into the pits to make their change before their rivals arrived: all of them, that is, except for Leimer, who was now stuck behind the safety car but in front of Gutiérrez, with the uncomfortable knowledge that he was now the only driver still to pit. The race went live on lap 21 until Coletti, who had gambled on another stop for slicks, lost his bet and spun at Bridge, prompting a return of the safety car.
 
The Swiss driver came into the pits next time through, undoing all of his hard work in a moment, and when the race went live once more 2 laps later there was only 3 minutes remaining on the clock. Gutiérrez made his life easy with a couple of fastest laps ahead of the chequered flag, with Cecotto crossing the line behind him for a solid second place.
 
Palmer was the next man through, holding on for third ahead of a charging Melker, who was also watching the mirrors for Razia in fifth, while DAMS pair Nasr and Valsecchi made their strategy work with a strong 6th and 7th respectively. Tomorrow’s poleman will be Giedo van der Garde, who pushed all race to overcome his grid penalty and claimed P8 on the last lap by Chilton and Fabrizio Crestani, who had salt rubbed into the wound when Rio Haryanto stole 10th on the line.
 
The results meant that the championship lead was passed from Valsecchi to Razia, who now heads the field 150 points to 147, while Gutiérrez’s wins put him onto the podium on 114 points, ahead of teammate Calado and Chilton on 95, who are both 2 points clear of van der Garde. But for now, champagne and the applause of the pitlane were all the Mexican was thinking about, with the chance to improve his position a consideration for tomorrow.

GP2

Leimer flies to Silverstone pole
 
Swiss driver dominates wet qualifying
 
Fabio Leimer has decimated his rivals with an untouchable string of laps in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Silverstone that put him almost a full second ahead of his closest competitors Johnny Cecotto and local driver Jolyon Palmer to claim an easy pole position for tomorrow’s feature race.
 
The Swiss driver stopped the clock at 2:01.889 in cold, wet conditions, with temperatures dropping further from the earlier lows in free practice this morning. Leimer set the running for almost the whole session, with his rivals seemingly unable to do anything about his pace in the treacherous conditions.
 
Series leader Davide Valsecchi was the first man on track, hopeful of taking advantage of a clear track in the session which promised to be one of the most difficult in recent memory, and duly set the running next time around. But Leimer cut 2 seconds out of the Italian’s time to be the first man into the 2:07s, and although Valsecchi sneaked ahead on his next lap, it was the Swiss driver who was to set a string of fastest laps from then on, seemingly in competition only with himself.
 
The rest of the field were determined to provide some competition, but each time they closed a little on his times it seemed to spur Leimer into an even faster lap. This continued until the 20 minute mark, when Marcus Ericsson and Johnny Cecotto slowed and stopped on circuit, prompting the red flags to make a first appearance in the session. The Venezuelan was pushed from the pitlane entrance back into the pits and was accordingly able to take the re-start.
 
With ten minutes remaining there was little to lose, but although the rain seemed to ease slightly it was hardly optimal conditions for lap times. A number of drivers slowed and stopped in the closing minutes, possibly having run out of fuel in the awkward conditions, but happily managed to roll off the circuit to avoid anything other than local yellows.
 
With one minute to go Palmer found enough for P3, with Cecotto improving his best time just after that to hold on to 2nd place, but both drivers were still almost a second off Leimer’s pace, although they displaced Stefano Coletti, Esteban Gutiérrez, James Calado, Rio Haryanto, Max Chilton, Luiz Razia and Giedo van der Garde in the process, setting up an interesting set of duels for tomorrow’s feature race.

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: gp2media

James Calado storms to Barcelona pole

Englishman tops qualifying in style

James Calado claimed his maiden GP2 pole position with a controlled but aggressive lap in the opening minutes of this afternoon’s qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya, leaving his more experienced rivals in the shade as he took the top spot in the blazing heat ahead of Fabio Leimer and Stéphane Richelmi.

The Briton’s 1:30.655 lap gave him a two tenths cushion over his closest rivals, with the gap closing slightly late in the session when Leimer improved his time. Calado, along with most of the grid, chose to go out early on the soft compound tyre to take advantage of the F1 rubber on the circuit, and the only question after the first few laps was whether the gamble taken by the few remaining drivers would pay off.

This morning’s fastest driver Josef Kral took to the circuit as most of his rivals came back into the pits, but he was unable to match his earlier performance. Marcus Ericsson and Fabio Leimer also delayed using their single set of option: the Swiss driver was an impressive P4 on his first set, and while the Swede was unable to improve his times, Leimer pushed up two spots but was unable to match Calado’s best lap.

With little chance to improve, many drivers used the remainder of the session as a bonus practice session ahead of tomorrow’s feature race, which will see Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde, Fabio Onidi, Davide Valsecchi, Stefano Coletti, Jolyon Palmer and Nathanaël Berthon line up behind the top three. With conditions forecast to be much the same as this afternoon’s session, the race promises to be a scorcher.

Motorsports Mondial

2011 GP2 Car

Fabio Leimer leads Day 2 Rapax driver quickest at Yas Marina Circuit in post season tests The second day of GP2 Series post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit saw a few changes in the drivers’ entry list with some racers switching teams and new ones joining, namely Pal Varhaug at Dams, Daniel Macinelli at Rapax, Dani Clos at Ocean Racing and Luca Filippi at Coloni.

The morning session was dominated by Fabio Leimer at the wheel of the #14 car for 2010 Team Champions’ Rapax: the Swiss topped the timing sheet from the moment the pitlane opened until the chequered flag, leaving only scraps to his closest rivals. Charles Pic at Addax looked like the man who could come the closest to Leimer’s best laptime as he stayed P2 for most of the session, but with five minutes left on the clock, GP2 returnee Filippi picked up some pace and finished two tenths from Leimer.

The session was briefly interrupted by three red flags, the second one due to Jake Rosenzweig damaging his Super Nova car on a curb and ending the American’s session prematurely. In the afternoon, yesterday’s quickest man James Jakes – this time at the wheel of a Racing Engineering car, set the early pace, until Sam Bird at Dams bettered his laptime. On the one hour mark, Michael Herck at DPR reminded everyone that he had been the fastest man on track in yesterday’s morning session by going top again, but not for long: Leimer and Josef Kral at Addax bettered the Romanian’s laptime. It was then Stefano Coletti’s turn to place his Trident car at the top of the timesheet.

The fight for today’s top honour continued relentlessly with GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez at ART claiming the top spot temporarily until Leimer went quickest again, improving his morning’s laptime by four tenths. He was then never dethroned despite Kral’s best efforts: the Addax man finished just one tenth behind the Swiss. In the dying seconds of the session, Clos improved, edging Bird out of the Top 3. Gutierrez finished best rookie of the day. The post-season test will resume on Saturday.