California dreaming is just a nightmare for Norfolk racer Alex Brundle
06:30 15 May 2014
Alex Brundle’s latest race in America ended in frustration when the King’s Lynn racer was forced to take avoiding action as he was fighting for the lead in the Monterey Grand Prix at the famous Laguna Seca circuit.
The Norfolk racer was driving alongside Colombia racer Gustavo Yacaman with the pair qualifying to start the race from the second row of the grid, with Yacaman jumping up to second place on the opening lap.
However, Yacaman was unable to find a chink in the leader’s stout defence and decided to back off and as a result fell back to third place.
The OAK Racing team decided to pit early for Brundle to take over the driving duties with new tyres, which put him in second place fighting for the lead once more.
An attempt to grab the lead saw Brundle fall back a couple of places before worse was to happen.
“I made a move on the inside of one of the DP competitors who put me in the dirt in the braking zone. I went straight into some competitor in front of me, which was a real shame,” said Brundle, who dragged the damaged car back to the pits where the OAK Racing squad replaced bent suspension parts within seven laps which enabled the pair to finish in 19th place.
Brundle did have the satisfaction of setting the fastest lap time in both practice sessions on his first visit to the California circuit and in the race itself.
The iSport International squad from Carlton Rode were out of luck in the latest GP2 races supporting the Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona Circuit.
Mitch Evans started the main event from sixth place and made a stunning start to the race to battle for the lead going into the first corner, but collided with Stefano Coletti, whose start was just as impressive.
Evans had to pit to replace his damaged nose cone which saw the New Zealander trail home in 14th place and out of the championship point paying positions.
Evans was classified in 20th place in race two, but this was after he had retired two laps from the finish with his tyres completely worn out.
Starting from row seven on the grid Evans charged up though the field, but with tyre wear a concern he gambled on making the finish but fell short, having to give up sixth place as a result.
Evans’ team-mate Artem Markelov managed 11th place in the opening encounter while he was an early retiree in the second.
Meanwhile, it will be smiles all round at Snetterton after circuit owner Jonathan Palmer’s eldest son Jolyon extended his championship lead in the Grand Prix feeder series to 22 points after a pair of second places.
Fastest in testing, Palmer started race two from second on the grid but was outfoxed by Johnny Cecotto’s clever tyre strategy while in the reverse grid race two he was just unable to dislodge race winner Felipe Nasr.