TEAM NEWS: Carlin Motorsport endured a disappointing second race in Monza yesterday, following two podium positions for the team in race one. In an action packed race, Jaime Alguersuari was the top International Class driver, coming home in sixth place, ahead of Sam Abay in tenth. Oliver Turvey finished out of the points, while Red Bull racer Brendon Hartley failed to finish. Kristjan Einar proved the highlight for the Carlin team, taking a hard fought third place in the National Class race while team mate Andy Meyrick also failed to cross the line.
Conditions finally dried for the second race at Monza yesterday, although a fine mist of rain fell as the Carlin drivers took to the grid. Following a chaotic qualifying session on Saturday, Meyrick led the Carlin squad on the grid, lining up in seventh place, with Alguersuari close behind in eighth, Turvey 10th, Hartley 11th and Abay 12th. Kristjan Einar started from his best ever grid position of second in the National Class.
Track conditions were slippery as race two got underway, which undoubtedly contributed to the various incidents at the first chicane and at Ascari, the latter of which brought out the only safety car of the weekend. All six Carlin drivers managed to get round the first lap unscathed, although Meyrick, Hartley and Abay had all lost places. At the start of lap two, Alguersuari was up to seventh, Turvey eighth, Meyrick 11th, Kristjan Einar 14th, Hartley 15th and Abay 21st.
Alguersuari made the most of the restart on lap four, finding a way past Sebastian Hohenthal, and then past Esteban Guerrieri on the same lap. On a charge, the young Spaniard passed Michael Devaney for second place on lap five. Behind him, Turvey had fallen back to ninth place, with Hartley now 13th ahead of Meyrick in 15th and Sam Abay who had started his fight back through the field to 16th place. Kristjan Einar was already fighting a race long battle with Hywel Lloyd and was third in the National Class.
Taking advantage of the long start/finish straight, Michael Devaney got a tow from Alguersuari on lap six, to pass the Red Bull driver into the first chicane. Sergio Perez, Guerrieri and Nick Tandy also passed Alguersuari down the straight, leaving the Carlin driver in sixth place on lap eight.
Meanwhile fellow Red Bull driver Hartley was chasing Walter Grubmuller for 11th place and the final points paying position, until contact between the two on lap nine put both drivers out of the race. Trying to avoid that incident, National race leader Meyrick made contact with another car, and ended his race in the barriers.
Oliver Turvey was pushing hard on lap ten, and passed Devaney for eighth place, while ahead of them Alguersuari was involved in an intense battle with Tandy for fifth. In the National Class Kristjan Einar was demonstrating some exciting racing in a dual for second place with Lloyd, which saw the pair swapping places nearly every lap.
With just two laps remaining, Turvey made a move into the first chicane on Sebastian Hohenthal for seventh place, but the two made contact, flipping Hohenthal’s car into the air. That incident brought the red flag out and the race to a premature end. With finishing positions taken from two laps earlier, Alguersuari was sixth, Abay tenth, and Kristjan Einar taking his first National Class podium in third. Following a penalty for the incident with Hohenthal, Turvey was classified 11th in the International Class.
Team Principal Trevor Carlin reflected, “It was a difficult race for the team yesterday. We saw some more great racing from Jaime, who continued to push hard as he had in the first race. Brendon and Oliver were unlucky not to come away with points after two strong drives. Sam did a good job to make his way back through the field from 21st to 10th. I’m very pleased for Kristjan, we have seen him develop from his first days in an F3 car to standing on the podium at a historic circuit such as Monza. It was a difficult weekend for Andy, but I think we’ll see him back on the top step at Rockingham.”