Pertamina Campos Racing drivers among fastest on Baku debut

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New Zealand´s Evans and Indonesia´s Gelael were in podium contention throughout the weekend. On Saturday Evans came 5th and Gelael finished 7th and on Sunday they both were taken out in a Turn 1 incident following a safety car period

Pertamina Campos Racing and their drivers Sean Gelael and Mitch Evans had mixed feelings on the streets of Baku´s city circuit, which played host to third round of the GP2 Series in the frame of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe. Indonesian Gelael and New Zealander Evans scored valuable points but yet there is a feeling that a podium finish was very much within reach.

Yellow flags interrupted Evans and Gelael qualifying runs on Friday. Evans posted a time of 1:53.401 to qualify 15th on the grid and his Indonesian teammate took 20th spot with a time of 1:54.717. But considering that overtaking in Baku was relatively easy, both drivers focused on race trim. Both Pertamina Campos Racing drivers managed to avoid a 5-car pile-up at the start. As a result, first safety car period was deployed. Shortly after, again under green flag conditions, a new crash brought out the safety car again. Meanwhile, Evans and Gelael were moving through the field and climbed into the top-ten before their mandatory pit stops. The final moments of the race saw Evans passing Nobuharu Matsushita for fifth. In the same way, Gelael overtook Daniel De Jong on the final lap for seventh.

Gelael and Evans were in a promising position for Sunday´s sprint race, second and fourth respectively on the grid. It spurred Pertamina Campos Racing on to fight for a place on the podium. Evans made a very good race start and moved up to third, behind Gelael was running in 5th place. But several accidents triggered safety car periods and, at the restart, Matsushita delayed his getaway, then Gustav Malja hit Evans and Gelael also was caught in the pile-up. Both Campos Racing-entered cars were forced to retire after 12 laps.

The GP2 Series heads to Austria´s Red Bull Ring on 1-3 July.

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