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vd Garde: Lead justifies GP2 rejection
1 January 1901
Giedo van de Garde claims he has no regrets at turning down a drive in GP2 in favour of competing in the World Series by Renault this year, the Dutchman having pulled out a comfortable lead in the first five races.
The P1 Motorsport driver has won three races this year so far, results that have already given him a comprehensive 29 point lead over second placed driver Mikhail Aleshin.
It goes a long way to vindicate his decision to turn down offers of racing in the GP2 Series following his run to fifth place in the World Series standings with Victory Engineering in 2007.
Indeed, van der Garde is hoping success in the World Series this year, compared to an anonymous year learning the ropes in GP2, will give him a greater chance of emulating fellow race winners Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, who now ply their trade in Formula 1.
“I had a very good opportunity to do GP2 this year but Roly Vincini (P1 team manager) phoned me and asked if I wanted to test at the end of last year,” he told
“So I did the test at Valencia and it went really well, which led me to decide I wanted to do another year in World Series with this team. Of course we had experience of doing it last year, so we didn't want to throw that in the bin… and it is all going well so far.”
Although van der Garde wasn't too positive about his time with former team Victory Engineering, with whom he failed to score a victory, he at least claims it has given him more racing confidence this year.
“I am a lot more confident. Last year, Victory wasn't performing well because every time we changed the car nothing helped. All year I was complaining of understeer and although we were scoring well, it wasn't good enough.
“This year though, the team is doing a great job which has made a big difference because the guys are working really hard for it.”
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