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JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Suzuka International Racing Course. 24 September 2019
April 03, 2015

 

Lady Luck abandons Swindon outfit as it endures a difficult return to European soil at Barcelona.
After the highs and lows of the first flyaway races, PB Racing was brought back to earth with a bang at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Supercup season came to a quick end for Maurice Brackhahn who now has conflicting engagements on a Wednesday night, ruling him out of competing. The decision by the German driver saw Balint Hammer once more take on the driving duties of the #37 car, partnering Philip Cullen.

Round Three - Barcelona

Philip Cullen
Qualifying: 14th
Feature Race: 21st
Sprint Race: 12th


Balint Hammer
Qualifying: 25th
Feature Race: DNF
Sprint Race: DNF


Qualifying was once more a tight affair in the Supercup with the top 26 out of the 29 qualifiers covered by just 1.5 seconds. Balint decided on the contra strategy by qualifying on the prime tyres. Philip was disappointed to line up 14th, a few tenths off his personal best.

Cullen's race begun well with a solid start but quickly went off the rails at turn four when he was pinched off the track and fell to the back of the field. During his drive back up the field, a mistake into turn seven saw him torpedoed into the barriers. After the race, he was quick to hold up his hands and admit his error, "I got a wheel on the kerb as I braked and the car just went straight. I was nothing but a passenger".

Despite extensive damage to the front of the car, he returned to the pits for repairs. The rest of the event was a long drive to the finish, made all the more difficult by the damage to the car. His poor day was compounded by a late penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. Philip's perseverance was paid off with a 21st place finish position, getting past six cars that retired to give himself a better starting position for the sprint race.

Balint's day did not go much better with the Hungarian driver unable to make the contra strategy work. His day ended ten laps before the end with a retirement. The results meant that PB Racing did not get any points, the second time this season that the team has failed to score in a race.

The Sprint Race brought again a mixed bag. Balint's race ended on the first lap as he went off into turn five and heavily damaging his car, ending a miserable day for the Hungarian. There was better luck for Philip, who finished his first Sprint race in the points this season.

Another solid start for him kept him chasing the tail end of the points. Cullen was part of a small group of drivers who decided on the prime tyres with the aim to not stop in the race. The Irish driver was followed by Satellite's Menno Klont as they both looked for better fortunes after a poor Feature Race.

As those ahead pitted to replace their options, Cullen was promoted into the points. Although he was challenged later by drivers on fresher tyres, he held out for 12th at the line. Philip was the fourth best driver to employ the zero-stop prime tyre strategy.

A meagre four points from two rounds is a poor return for the effort. However many positives are considered by the team with Cullen seemingly getting better at his starts and the raw pace of the car there to be taken advantage of.


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