Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that Reserve Driver Giedo van der Garde will be taking part in the City Racing Rotterdam event on 26th August in Holland.
Both the Caterham F1 Team race drivers have taken part in previous City Racing events, with Heikki Kovalainen driving a Renault F1 car in 2008 and Vitaly Petrov also in a Renault F1 car in 2010 in the Netherlands’ largest Formula 1 event.
Giedo is delighted to be taking part in such a big event in front of his home crowd: “For years I have been following City Racing Rotterdam and I’m delighted that the organization has invited Caterham F1 Team and me to take part. I will make sure that the huge crowd will not be short of excitement! Last weekend I took part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England and I am looking forward to showing all the fans the Caterham F1 Team car and we will make sure we put on a spectacular show.”
Rotterdam Racing is delighted Caterham F1 Team and Giedo will be at the event on 26th August. City Racing co-organizer Herman Vaanholt said: “We are happy to add Giedo and his team to our line-up. He is joining a list of Dutch drivers who have taken part in our previous events including Albers, Doornbos, Tung and Verstappen. We are proud that yet again a Dutch driver will be driving a Formula 1 car at a City Racing event and with Caterham F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas team also taking part, with Nico Rosberg driving, we are showing that even in challenging times for the event business City Racing keeps our standards at the highest possible level.”
Preparations for the eighth edition are in full swing and everyone associated with the event is working hard to put on a spectacular program. Besides Van der Garde and the Caterham F1 Team car a number of other names have already been confirmed including Mercedes AMG Petronas with Nico Rosberg. In addition to the Formula 1 cars stunt driver Terry Grant will be taking part and will again put on a spectacular show for the fans. More names will be added to the line-up in the next few weeks for the eighth edition of City Racing. For all fans who want to make sure they do not miss a thing, VIP and grandstand tickets are now on sale at www.cityracing.nl
Giedo van der Garde flies to Sakhir pole
Caterham Racing driver steals Davide Valsecchi’s thunder
Giedo van der Garde is a happy man: the Caterham Racing driver claimed today’s pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:42.451, one tenth quicker than Davide Valsecchi. Fabio Leimer took P3 in an thrilling qualifying session.
Esteban Gutiérrez was the first driver to take to the track in the session in Sakhir. He set the early pace with a 1:43.213, but Series leader Valsecchi on Prime Pirelli tyres claimed P1 after a stellar lap that saw him set the quickest times in sectors 2 and 3. The Italian’s rival Luiz Razia also improved and moved up to P2, two tenths behind Valsecchi.
The first ten minutes saw Felipe Nasr pushing hard, locking up Turn 10 and nearly coming together with Tom Dillmann. Max Chilton attempted to challenge Valsecchi but made a mistake in the second sector on both tries. The DAMS racer went for another quick lap, but hit traffic in the final part of the track and chose to re-enter the pits to switch to Option tyres. Leimer moved up to P3 ahead of Rio Haryanto and Dani Clos.
Chilton eventually found a way around Sector 2 and edged Razia out of P2. His teammate Haryanto also found some extra pace to take P3. Mid-session came and van der Garde lying then on P20 found a clear lap. On Option tyres, the Dutchman pushed hard and even made a small mistake in the final sector, but that was enough to do the job and take pole in 1:42.451, one tenth quicker than Valsecchi. Leimer also improved and moved up to P3 again.
As the clock ticked down, traffic intensified and Valsecchi was unable to match the Dutchman’s pace. He re-entered the pits one minute before the end of the session, along with Leimer which left van der Garde to celebrate and enjoy his first pole position of the season. Behind the top 3, Carlin’s pair Chilton and Haryanto ended up P5 and P6 respectively, ahead of Razia, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Clos, Marcus Ericsson and Dillmann.
Carlos Sainz claims pole position at Hockenheim
Carlos Sainz (Carlin, 1:33.709 minutes) was fastest in Formula 3 Euro Series qualifying at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg and achieved a great comeback for his team Carlin in the world’s strongest junior racing category. Second fastest in qualifying, Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam, 1:33.995 minutes) was 0.286 seconds slower than his compatriot. Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport, 1:34.045 minutes) ended up third, Michael Lewis (Prema Powerteam, 1:34.259 minutes) was fourth. In the ranking for the second-fastest laps, Sainz also came out on top and this will not only start the third, but also the first race of the weekend from pole position. All three races also count towards the newly-created FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
In the first qualifying of the year, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Juncadella had a thrilling battle for first place. With two minutes remaining, Juncadella was in the lead, but then was toppled by Sainz. On his final lap, the Carlin driver once again improved his own lap time. There was no way to hold the son of the two times’ world rally champion off his maiden Euro Series’ pole position.
With Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport, 1:34.371 minutes), the best-placed guest driver was fifth, followed by Sven Müller (Prema Powerteam, 1:34.446 minutes), the best rookie in the 18 drivers strong field. The lap times of the first ten drivers in qualifying were within less than a second.
Carlos Sainz (Carlin): “This wasn’t an easy qualifying, because there were many cars on the track and I hardly had a clear lap. With my first set of tyres, I tried to complete as many laps as possible, to get maximum insight. With the second set, it went particularly well towards the end.”
Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy, because I am on the front row of the grid. With the second set of tyres, the balance of my car wasn’t that good anymore, so I wasn’t able to do any better. Now, we have to analyse what the reason was.”
GP2 Malaysia Race Preview
The newly rebranded Caterham Racing embark on the first race of the GP2 season this weekend in Malaysia, the first home race of the season for the Anglo-Malaysian team. The unique atmosphere around one of the most technical circuits of the calendar is a favourite amongst drivers, with the combination of long high-speed straights and tight twisting complexes making the track a tough challenge, but wide enough to create plenty of overtaking opportunities.
Following six days of testing in Jerez and Barcelona the series joins Formula One for the second Grand Prix of the year, with the team’s drivers Giedo van der Garde and Rodolfo Gonzalez both looking forward to the first race of the year in the sweltering Malaysian conditions.
Phill Spencer “I think the whole team is looking forward to getting back to racing. Winter testing went very well with Giedo on the pace straight away and Rodolfo and getting up to speed quickly. We have been working hard on all elements of our race weekends over the winter, in particular focusing on our pitstops, and we have a lot to look forward to in our second season. I feel more confident this time around. The organisation, procedures and the car are second nature to us and if we start this season as we did in 2011 we are in good shape and should be heading for podiums.”
Rodolfo Gonzalez “I am really excited to be in Malaysia for the first event of the season, particularly because the weather here is nice and warm, just like home! After the tests in Spain I have been focusing on all aspects of my race weekend and I am looking forward to putting it all into practice here – my driving, qualifying strategy, the set ups – we just have to get right and put it all together. We want to see progress this weekend and qualify as far up the grid as possible – that’s a reasonable goal and one that gives us something to aim for.
“The track here is good – there are some tough braking points and as the track temperature today was 48 degrees it will definitely be tough on the tyres. It will be interesting to see if people fall off the pace due to tyre degradation during the races this weekend and strategy will be even more important here, especially with the use of the new tyre compounds. Whatever happens, I am sure the competition is going to be as tough as ever and we’ll do the best job we can to fight, right from day one.”
Giedo van der Garde “I am feeling pretty confident and the team is too. We had six very good, productive days of testing and I feel happy with where we are at the moment. I raced here a long time ago and personally I think this is a nice track to compete on. The surface is very smooth and it’s pretty technical – a lot of the corners blend into one another and it doesn’t have a lot of the long straight / slow corner we see elsewhere, so it’s pretty different to the tracks we have been testing at. You have to be fit here because of the heat and humidity and this will have a big effect during the race, but I’m feeling really good – I’ve been training hard and I’m sure I’ll deal with the heat just fine. The most important thing now is to be at the front in qualifying and from there work hard on the race.”
Humphrey Corbett “I am really looking forward to this weekend. We have prepared for this race extremely well and I am very happy with how our cars are performing in both qualifying and race trim. We have done some very quick pit stops recently, but we need to be more consistent – every second counts so we have been working hard on making sure we can be the best in the pitlane at every aspect of a race weekend. The drivers seem happy in qualifying and race modes and it will be very interesting to see during races who has done their homework and who manages to look after their tyres well. Many of the teams seemed to be doing a lot of qualifying runs in testing and not many long runs. We took the opposite approach so I am keen to see what happens here where managing the tyres will be key to successful races.
“Last season GP2 was very new to me, I have been here many times in the past with Formula One and know the track well, so now with a season under our belt I feel a lot more relaxed approaching this race. We have good people right across the team, two good drivers and a lot of reasons to be positive about the year ahead.”