The second round of the 2014 GP2 Series takes place this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya, and the Hilmer Motorsport team are arriving back at the scene of their maiden race win in the series in 2013. Robin Frijns won the feature race in Spain last year, while team-mate Jon Lancaster joined the Dutchman on the podium in third.
The team will be hopeful to get back on track this weekend, after a promising start in Bahrain went to waste with neither driver scoring points. Daniel Abt was a frontrunner all through practice and qualifying, but a series of errors and problems for both Abt and team-mate Facu Regalia meant the team left Bahrain without a point on the board.
“We won our first ever race in Barcelona last year and of course we will try to repeat this,” said Franz Hilmer, the team principal of Hilmer Motorsport. “Daniel Abt has proved in Bahrain that he is one of the fastest drivers in the field. Without his mistake during the pit stop, we could have finished the race on the podium, maybe we even could have won the race.
“Both of our drivers have been in the simulator and the whole team has worked very hard in order to be well prepared for the event in Barcelona. We have a fast and competitive car and we hope that we can celebrate our first podium of the season there and maybe even our first race win.”
Abt took a couple of thirteenth places in Bahrain despite qualifying an impressive third on the grid, but after a under-whelming 2013 with ART Grand Prix, it was a sign that the young German was approaching the form that took him so close to the 2012 GP3 Series crown.
“I am looking forward to the start of the ‘European season’ in Barcelona,” said Abt. “It is always a special atmosphere in Europe. The team has proved with the race win there last year what it is able to achieve and I am confident that we are going to be racing in the forefront. I will give everything and I will try not to make a mistake. Then I am sure we will be very successful in Catalunya.”
Team-mate Regalia was forced out of the feature race early and struggled to a twentieth place finish in the sprint race in Bahrain, and will be hoping he can reclaim the form that took him to runner-up in last years GP3 series. He admits he is ready to fight back in Spain.
“We analysed the races in Bahrain and we are sure that we will do better in Barcelona,” said Regalia. “I know the Circuit de Catalunya quite well and I had very good moments there in the past. I won both races there in Formula 3 and I like driving on this circuit very much. I prepared myself on the simulator and I think that we are ready to fight back.”