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Top-five finish for DAMS in GP3 at Jerez
Top-five finish for DAMS in GP3 at Jerez
Top-five finish for DAMS in GP3 at Jerez

09/10/2017 - Top-five finish for DAMS in GP3 at Jerez

DAMS scored a strong top-five at Jerez, with Dan Ticktum flying to fourth in only his second GP3 Series weekend.

Red Bull Junior Ticktum was also fighting for a podium in the Sprint Race, before being hit out in the closing stages. 

Sauber F1 Development Driver Tatiana Calderon collected her second points finish in a row with eighth, while Brazilian Bruno Baptista was unable to add to his season’s tally. 

 

Free Practice & Qualifying

After an excellent showing on his GP3 debut at Monza, Ticktum was quickly up to speed in Spain, going fifth fastest in practice, before improving to fourth in his first qualifying session.

Coming off the back off her strongest series result yet, Calderon also showed promising speed, posting the ninth fastest time in practice and qualifying a personal-best eighth.

Baptista went 10th fastest in practice to confirm DAMS’ strong pace at the Andalusian track, but was unable to match it in qualifying and could only manage 20th.

Dan Ticktum: “I still haven’t done a lot of laps in the car, so I was very pleased with the pace I showed early in the weekend. The set-up was good and I knew we could challenge the guys ahead in the race.”

Tatiana Calderon: “The car felt great in both practice and qualifying. It was my third top-10 in a row, which shows how much we’ve improved as the season’s progressed.”

Bruno Baptista: “Practice went well, but I made a couple of mistakes in qualifying on my fast laps and had to start at the back.”

 

Feature and Sprint Races

In the Feature Race, Ticktum matched the leaders’ pace and stormed to an emphatic fourth. The Brit made up a place from fifth in the opening stages of the sprint and was challenging for a podium when he was pushed off into the gravel, ending his weekend.

Calderon was hit in the first corner of race one and dropped outside the top 10 to finish 13th. In the Sprint Race, the Colombian made some good overtakes in the opening stages and was quickly up to 10th. She finished ninth, but was promoted to eighth after a penalty ahead.

Baptista improved from the back of the grid to 16th in the Feature Race, before making further gains on Sunday to finish 13th.

Dan Ticktum: “We showed a lot of pace in the races. We were as quick, if not quicker than the ART cars, so it’s disappointing to have been taken out of the sprint. The driver was penalised, and there are still plenty of positives to take.”

Tatiana Calderon: “I had a good start in race one, but was hit and dropped behind slower cars. I’m happy to be rewarded for our performance in race two though and I’d like to thank the team for their hard work this weekend.”

Bruno Baptista: “It’s difficult to overtake at this track, so I was unable to make the progress our pace deserved. The team have been very supportive and we are aiming to be back in the points at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.” 

François Sicard, Managing Director: “This was an encouraging weekend for the team. Ticktum has done an incredible job. In his first qualifying session he was fourth and to be fighting for the podium in both races is very good. It’s a shame that he was taken out in the sprint but overall we can still be happy. Calderon confirmed our speed with another great qualifying performance and points finish. She didn’t get the results she deserved, but will be right in the mix at Abu Dhabi. Baptista is working hard, he showed good pace in the races and is always improving.”

 

The finale of the 2017 GP3 Series takes place at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi (24-26 November).

 

 

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DAMS score best GP3 result of season at Monza
DAMS score best GP3 result of season at Monza
DAMS score best GP3 result of season at Monza

05/09/2017 - DAMS score best GP3 result of season at Monza

Tatiana Calderon scythed through to seventh place from the back of the grid to secure DAMS’ best GP3 Series result of the year at Monza, Italy (1-3 September).

The result was also a career-best for Sauber F1 Development Driver Calderon and came after a superb drive.

Brazilian Bruno Baptista also collected points with a strong 10th position, as Red Bull Junior Driver Dan Ticktum was hit out of contention whilst fighting for a top- five finish on his debut.

Free Practice

Focusing on race set-up, Calderon was 19th fastest in practice. However, heavy rain forced Saturday’s qualifying to be cancelled with the times set in Friday’s session determining the Feature Race grid.

Like Calderon, Baptista did not focus on single-lap pace in free practice and was 16th overall, which is where he lined up on the grid.

Taking part in his maiden GP3 Series weekend, Ticktum was quickly up to speed at Monza; the Briton 10th in practice.

Tatiana Calderon:We were testing the car with different set-ups on Friday, so the fact that qualifying was cancelled was not ideal and the grid position wasn’t a true representation of our pace.

Bruno Baptista:Practice was OK. I wasn’t pushing as hard as possible so we could have been further up than we were.

Dan Ticktum:On Friday, I felt the pace was good and I’m very happy with the performance. It’s a shame we couldn’t get any running in qualifying as it’s likely that we would have improved even more.

Feature Race

With the Sprint event cancelled, the Feature Race was moved to Sunday. Calderon started well, but had contact and pitted for repairs under the safety car. She then made great progress climbing to seventh. Frustratingly, the cancellation of the Sprint Race denied her a front-row start on the partially-reversed grid.

Baptista managed his tyres well early in the race, before making a late charge to take his second points finish of the year in 10th.

Ticktum started strongly to move up to seventh inside a lap. Whilst battling for fourth at the halfway stage, he was hit from behind and received a left-rear puncture. He dropped out of the points-paying positions and finished 13th.

Tatiana Calderon:I was conservative at the start to save tyres and it paid off in the end. The result is great and I want to thank the team for their help this weekend, hopefully we will continue to score more points from now on.

Bruno Baptista:We had some really good fights throughout the race and the car was set-up nicely. It’s great to finish in the points again, but we still have areas to improve for the next one.

Dan Ticktum:The start went well and I did everything I could to keep my nose clean. The contact is frustrating, but that happens a lot in racing. Overall, I’m still pleased that I was fighting for fourth on my debut and everyone at DAMS was very helpful.

François Sicard, Managing Director:It was great to see Ticktum immediately on the pace having never driven this car before. He was very unlucky in the race, but after his pitstop he was lapping at the same pace as the leaders. He will be back with us to fight at Jerez and Abu Dhabi. We are very satisfied to see Calderon collect some points after a great comeback! She’s been showing very strong performances since Hungary and deserves this. We’re also delighted that Baptista scored his second point of the season and now the focus is on even better at the final two rounds.

 

Round seven of the 2017 GP3 Series takes place at Jerez, Spain (6-8 October).

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DAMS unrewarded after strong GP3 qualifying at Spa
DAMS unrewarded after strong GP3 qualifying at Spa
DAMS unrewarded after strong GP3 qualifying at Spa

29/08/2017 - DAMS unrewarded after strong GP3 qualifying at Spa

DAMS drivers Tatiana Calderón, Bruno Baptista and Matthieu Vaxivière were unable to capitalise on their strong pace early in the weekend after enduring challenging races in round four of the GP3 Series at Spa-Francorchamps.

It was a positive start to the weekend as Sauber F1 Team Development Driver Calderón, Frenchman Vaxivière and Brazilian Baptista set competitive times in free practice.

Vaxiviere then secured DAMS’ best qualifying result of the season, as Calderón impressively made the top-10 for the second weekend running. However, race incidents meant that all three drivers were unable to score points.

Free Practice & Qualifying

Colombian Calderón showed fine form in practice, going second quickest after topping it earlier in the session, before qualifying in 10th – equalling the best of her GP3 career.

In only his second GP3 Series weekend, Vaxivière was fifth-fastest in both practice and the wet qualifying session.

Baptista returned from the summer break after scoring his first point in Hungary and went 12th in practice. However, he was unable to get a clean lap in during qualifying and ended the session 19th.

Tatiana Calderón:We started off really well in practice and even though I was hoping for a better result in the wet qualifying session, it was still very promising for the race.

Matthieu Vaxivière:Practice showed that we had good pace in the dry and when the rain came for qualifying we were unsure where we would be. It went well though and I was happy with my grid position for the Feature Race.

Bruno Baptista:In practice the car felt quite good and we continued to improve. I didn’t manage to get a good run in qualifying when the conditions were at their best, so had work to do for the races.

Feature & Sprint Races

After stalling on the grid, Calderón was recovering lost positions strongly when she made unfortunate contact with another car and was penalised 10 seconds, dropping her to 16th at the finish. She improved to 13th in the Sprint Race after showing promising pace.

Vaxivière was looking to challenge for a strong points finish in the Feature Race, but was hit by another competitor and forced his retirement. The Frenchman improved from 18th on the grid to 15th on Sunday.

It was a difficult Feature Race for Baptista, who retired after an incident. He improved from the back row in the Sprint event to finish 16th.

Tatiana Calderón:Unfortunately, I made a mistake on the start in the Feature Race and had some early contact. The pace was still good and in the Sprint event I was able to have some good battles. We are improving and I’m looking forward to Monza.

Matthieu Vaxivière:I couldn’t capitalise on the positive start to the weekend in the Feature Race and had contact with another driver. This sent us backwards for Sunday, as we tried to fine tune the set-up and went a bit too far.

Bruno Baptista:I was hit by another driver on Saturday and was forced to retire. The Sprint Race started well and I made a few overtakes on the first lap, but I knocked my pit limiter after contact and lost time.” 

François Sicard, Managing Director:It was a good start, but the incidents in the Feature Race jeopardised the rest of the weekend. Even if you cannot see it in the results, all three drivers did a great job and continued to learn and progress with the car. Vaxiviere's feedback was really useful. Calderon was excellent in qualifying and we hope that her hard work will be rewarded in the future. Baptista was unlucky this weekend, but he has been moving forwards at a fantastic rate since the beginning of the season, so we’re sure to be back stronger at Monza.

 

Round six of the 2017 GP3 Series will take place at Monza, Italy (1-3 September).

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