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Daly shines in Hilmer Motorsport debut

Conor Daly heads into next week's GP3 pre-season testing riding high after scoring his first points in GP2 for Hilmer Motorsport in Malaysia.
Having turned out for GP2 Series new team Hilmer Motorsport last weekend at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Conor Daly will be returning to his 'day job' in GP3 pre-season testing at Silverstone with ART.

The question is whether the 21-year-old American - the son of Irish former F1 and Champ Car driver Derek Daly - will still be in the GP3 cockpit come the start of the season in Barcelona in May, or whether a more permanent role in GP2 is in the offing given his successful d├ębut performance.

Daly finished in 13th place in the Saturday sprint race in Malaysia, which he was then able to improve to a points finish in seventh place at the end of the Sunday sprint race - the first GP2 points for Hilmer as well as himself.

"The car had too much oversteer and I just didn't know how hard I could push the tyres with a heavy fuel load,' Daly explained. "I decided to sit at the end of the lead group to let things settle down a bit. When the fuel load lightened I started to push a little more."

Daly's day could have been even better, if he hadn't been caught out waved yellow flags in the Saturday feature race. He'd failed to spot them in time and got served with a pit lane drive-thru penalty for overtaking, one of a number of drivers to get caught out by the same offence in the middle of the 31-lap race.

"Without the drive through penalty in race 1 on Saturday, Conor would have finished [the feature race] eighth instead of 13th," commented team owner Franz Hilmer. "That would have put him on the reverse grid pole for Sunday," he pointed out.

"It looks as if he was fast enough to potentially win the race - we would have created a big story," added Hilmer, who went on to describe Daly's maiden performance with the team as "fantastisch."

So does that mean Hilmer is looking at confirming Daly in the race seat for a longer stay? The team was the last to confirm its driver line-up for Malaysia just days before the event got underway, and Daly and his weekend team mate Pal Varhaug were only signed up for the opening round of the 2013 GP2 Series, with Hilmer deferring a decision on its long-term line-up until after Sepang was behind them.

If he were offered a GP2 race seat, would Daly take it or would be prefer to stay in GP3 for another crack at that title in 2013? It was too soon for Daly to say, as he was still reeling from the lightning run of events of the last few days.



Related Pictures

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Hilmer Motorsport logo (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Conor Daly (USA, Hilmer Motorsport) during the second day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Wednesday 6th March. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pal Varhaug (NOR, Hilmer Motorsport) during GP2 testing at Jerez - February 2013. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Conor Daly (USA, Hilmer Motorsport) in action at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia during GP2 practice - March 22, 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Oliver Rowland, MP Motorsport, GP2 [Credit: RSF]
2015 GP2 Series Round 11. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 29 November 2015. The red flag caused by the crash involving Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS), Norman Nato (FRA, Arden International), Nicolas Latifi (CAN, MP Motorsport), Daniel de Jong (NLD, Trident), Sean Gelael (INA, Carlin). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.. Saturday 10 October 2015. Top three qualifiers, Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Alex Fontana (SUI, Status Grand Prix) leads Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS, Rapax) leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Oliver Rowland (GBR, MP Motorsport) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) leads Oliver Rowland (GBR, MP Motorsport), and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Seb Morris (GBR, Status Grand Prix) &Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
Nicolas Latifi - MP Motorsport
Nicolas Latifi - MP Motorsport
Nick Yelloly (GBR) Hilmer Motorsport
Nick Yelloly (GBR) Hilmer Motorsport
Nick Yelloly (GBR) Hilmer Motorsport

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