Stuvik Soldiers On In The Desert

Round 8 of the GP3 Series took place in the famous Bahrain circuit, this time however, the GP3 event would be hosted in conjunction with the World Endurance Championship instead of Formula 1 to ‘fill in’ for a German Grand Prix that never happened. Sandy as usual races for Singha Corporation, The Pizza Company, Dacon Inspection Services, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand, and the Sports Authority of Thailand.

Qualifying: Sandy – 23rd 1.48.815 / Esteban Ocon – 1st 1.46.684

The GP3 qualifying session got underway in the sweltering heat at midday, this would be a test of man, machine and the Pirelli tire as the drivers try to find the fastest way around the Sakhir circuit without compromising the life of the tire too much. “Qualifying was very difficult and with all the different tire compounds on the track this weekend make it even more difficult to know where the grip is, and how much of it there actually is. Nevertheless the session was one to forget as there was a miscommunication in the team that lead to us teammates impeding one another.”

Race 1: Sandy – 13th / Kirchhofer – 1st

The first race of the weekend for the GP3 Series took place at 13.20, once again meaning the drivers would face a challenge that has been unseen throughout the season: heat. This would also take a toll of the Pirelli tires, making it interesting to see who would conquer the abrasive Sakhir circuit, and finish the race with enough tires to fight for points. “There was a lot of tire degradation this race because of the heat and the abrasiveness of this circuit, and from the second lap of the race I was saving my tires a lot but still keeping up with the pack. Towards the end it was easy to see those that did not save their tires and I could overtake. Unfortunately we couldn’t get into the top ten after a long hard race.”

Race 2: Sandy – DNF / Ghiotto – 1st

The second race of the weekend took place in the morning, at 09.00. However, it would be a very short race for Sandy.

“On the first lap of the race coming into the last corner I am slipstreaming my teammate Seb Morris. He blocks once and I remain behind and just before the corner I am on the inside when he blocks again and our tires make contact. That is what you don’t see in the TV coverage, at that point my car is heavily damaged and I have no control of it. Then I continue skidding with no brakes or any control of the car and unfortunately hit Matheo Tuscher, before going head on into the barrier at very high speed. It’s no doubt this was my hardest impact but apart from a few bruises I am ok.” After the race, the stewards deemed that it was the fault of Seb Morris for making multiple moves to block and causing a dangerous accident.

The next race will be this coming weekend (27-29 Nov) at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with the final event of Formula 1.

2015 GP3 Series Calendar

Date Venue Remark*
19-21 Nov Sakhir, Bahrain Round 8
27-29 Nov Yas Marina, UAE Round 9

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Sasinee Aoucharoenpuck, PR Executive

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