July 30, 2017

Kari bags the points for Arden at the Hungaroring

Red Bull Junior Niko Kari takes home more solid points for Arden Motorsport as the GP3 Series heads into the summer break.

Red Bull Junior Niko Kari took a brace of points finishes for Arden Motorsport at the Hungaroring as the GP3 Series headed to the tight and twisty circuit in Budapest for Rounds 9-10 of the championship

Kari hit the ground running at Budapest with the 4th quickest time in Free Practise, in preparation for the all important qulaifying sessions around the Hungaroring Circuit.

Qualifying saw Kari qualify in 7th position, teammates Stejin Schothorst and Leonardo Pulcini were unable to get in their final qualifying laps after the session was stopped with a couple of minutes to go - thwarting the end of their qualifying runs and ending up 12th and 18th respectively.

The Arden trio would benefit from two drivers no being able to make the start of the race due to technical issues. As the five lights went out, Kari made a good start to move up into 5th position. The safety car deployed after an accident at turn one and turn two. Pulcini had made a fantastic start up to 10th position, whilst Schothorst had cemented his 12th position starting berth.

As the race restarted, Pulcini suffered an issue through the final corner - demoting him to the rear of the pack, Schothorst benefiting from this to move up a position to 11th. Sadly his race would only last half a lap further, as a technical issue caused the Dutchman to stop out on track - bringing out the Virtual Safety Car. Pulcini recovered from his issue to re-gain ground back up to 12th.

Kari was applying a lot of pressure to Dorian Boccolacci, as the Finnish driver aimed to close in on the podium battle. Kari went for a bold move around the outside for 4th place into turn one - sadly out-braking himself and dropped down to 8th position.
The remainder of the race was a stalement around Kari, as each driver used DRS to counter each other's attacks on the notoriously difficult circuit to overtake on. In the closing stages, tyre wear became a deciding factor as the drivers raced to the chequered flag.

Kari finished the race in 9th position, just missing reverse grid pole position. Teammate Pulcini finished 15th at the flag.

The second race of the weekend saw a frantic start as Pulcini and Nirei Fukuzumi made contact through turn three, damaging the Arden drivers front wing. Kari managed to avoid the incident and crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in 8th position, with Schothorst in 12th position. The latters horrendous luck this season would once again bite him on the seventh lap of the race, as he was forced to retire from the race.

The race action reached a head on lap 13, as chamionship contender Jack Aitken suffered a puncture on lap 14, taking himself as championship leader George Russell out of point scoring points.
Neverthe less, the Arden duo made use of this to secure a piar of top ten finishes. Kari took the line in 6th position and Pulcini had recovered up to 10th position despite the earlier scenes at the beginning of the race.

As the team leaves Budapest and head into the GP3 Series annual summer break, Arden currently sit 4th in the Team's Championship Standings, whilst Kari heads the Arden trio in the Driver's Championship on 26 points.

The season will resume at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps on the 25-27 August, as the GP3 Series returns to action for Rounds 9-10 of the championship.

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