Charles Pic is pleased that Caterham have established such a sizeable gap over closest-rivals Marussia during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix today at the Hungaroring.
Pic will line up 19th on the grid ahead of his teammate Giedo van der Garde, with the impressive feat being that he finished over seven-tenths ahead of Marussia’s leading driver Jules Bianchi and almost one second ahead of Max Chilton.
“In Q1 our goal was to finish ahead of Marussia and we’ve achieved that with both cars, actually with a bigger gap than we’ve seen for a while, so I’m pleased with how the session went,” Pic explained in a team statement after qualifying.
Further to that, Pic is confident that if he can look after his tires he will be able to challenge some of the drivers in the midfield with Sauber and Williams both struggling to establish much of a gap to Caterham this season.
“Our deg levels have been pretty good on the mediums and we’ve already seen that we can push a couple of cars ahead in race conditions, so, even though the gap to the midfield is there, I’m already looking forward to a strong race tomorrow.”
Pic has emerged as the leading driver from the bottom two teams in recent races, but Marussia currently occupy P10 in the constructors’ championship by virtue of Jules Bianchi’s 13th place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The US-based Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship circuit has reportedly parked itself and the pending 2018 season. According to various reports including AutoWeek, AutoSport.com and Motorsport.com, the Red Bull-sponsored GRC has suspended operations.
MotorSportsTalk reached out to a GRC spokesman for comment and further details.
It appears that all GRC-related websites, including its home page, as well as the site to order tickets to races this season, are unavailable. The series’ Twitter account @GRCseries remains, but hasn’t tweeted since April 13.
New York’s Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway, which was to host the GRC’s season-opening event (the original Louisville opener in mid-May was cancelled), issued a statement on its Twitter account:
Several GRC teams said at the end of last season that they would not return to the series, including teams from Honda, Volkswagen and Subaru.
It is expected that the GRC Europe series will continue working on its 2019 campaign.
It’s unclear whether teams that are no longer with the GRC U.S. series will move to a new series backed by IMG known as “Americas Rallycross Championship.” The ARC is slated to kick off as part of next month’s World Rallycross event at Silverstone in Great Britain.
Other ARC events, also tied into WRC events, will be at Trois-Rivieres in Canada on August 4-5, and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29-30. A fourth event is still in the works.