Jimmy Eriksson took his maiden points at the fourth round of the GP2 Championship, with a fifth place finish in Saturdays Feature Race. The Swede had a laboured start to the Austrian race weekend, with an fuel issue on his second run in Qualifying, he qualified 21st and with a three place grid penalty (from Baku Race 2) was required to start from the pit lane for Race one.

Jimmy left the pit lane on the supersoft (option) tyres and ran to lap nine before making his mandatory pit stop to the soft tyre (prime). Just three laps later, the rain began to fall across turns 2 to 5. A brave choice to remain on the prime tyre paid off for the Swede as others pitted for wets, following heavier rain fall on the tighter parts of the circuit. He moved up to fourth and held tight. The race was red flagged on lap 28 when Artem Markelov (Russian Time) made contact with the pit exit wall, suspending the session. The race was re-started under safety car, where Jimmy lost out a spot to Luca Ghitto, followed by Oliver Rowland as his competitors were warmed quicker on their supersoft tyres. Just five laps later Jimmy managed to pass back Rowland to finish, just 0.3s behind Ghiotto to take a solid 10points.

Nabil had an impressive Qualifying on Friday, the Malaysian driver posted his best Qualifying time to date to land fourteenth place start on the grid for the Feature Race. Despite a great start and a move up to eleventh Nabil was hit up the rear by Sergio Canamasas’ (Carlin) flying car over a mis-braking Gustav Malja (Rapax). The Arden driver limped back to the pit lane and retired with rear wing and suspension damage.

The Sprint race was hit with torrential rain and the race was started under the safety car. Jimmy started fifth but struggled to keep the car out of the water, spinning and falling back to nineteenth on lap 8. The Swede managed to recover some spots as the rain eased and some pitted for slicks, he stayed out making a recovery to thirteenth. Nabil was less fortunate - starting from the back the Malaysian was unable to whittle his way through the field, finishing seventeenth.

 

Nabil: “I love this track, how it flows. It’s an amazing track to drive on even when it only has nine corners. I have been here before in German Formula 3 and Euro Formula 3. Qualifying was amazing, the best ever and I was quicker than my team-mate in such a short circuit it was a great feeling. He is my only benchmark as we have the same car so I was very happy. We didn’t change much for the race because I was pretty happy with the feeling on the car. It was a shame that I didn’t get to drive this car much as the turn 1 incident ended my race. I was hoping the car was better for race two but it was raining and I really struggled to drive the car. I hope to improve the car and also my ability to drive in the wet at future races. Silverstone is my favourite track and it’s all quick corners, so im hoping for good things there.”

 

Jimmy: “It’s a strange but nice feeling to come away from RedBull Ring with my best result yet in GP2, especially given where we were going into that race. It wasn’t looking bright after qualifying, but this only goes to prove that anything can happen in motor racing. It was an eventful race and the weather certainly helped, but we capitalised on it, made the right decisions and were quick enough when we needed to be. This means a lot for us following a difficult start to the season, and hopefully we can build on this over the coming few races.”

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Eriksson storms into the points in Spielberg

GP2
/
Monday
4
July 2016
10:08 am

Jimmy ERIKSSON

Nabil JEFFRI