GP2: iSport boss Paul Jackson happy enough with 2011 season
It was a case of what might have been for Carleton Rode's iSport – despite coming out of the 2011 season as Norfolk's top GP2 outfit.
After an intense rivalry all through the Formula One feeder series, iSport finished fourth in the team's championship with Hingham's debut marque Team Air Asia sixth and Griston's Super Nova Racing ninth.
Group Lotus-backed French team ART took third spot in the team's standings, and likewise in the drivers' championship through Jules Bianchi.
iSport's Sam Bird was sixth and team-mate Marcus Ericsson 10th after what had been a promising start to the campaign for the 2007 champions.
'While we finished one place higher than the last two years, the season was not as successful as we hoped or expected with many incidents throughout the year preventing both drivers from taking the wins they deserved,' said team principal Paul Jackson.
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'However, the team still ended up maintaining the record of never finishing outside the top five in seven years of GP2.
'We had a great time and we would like to thank Sam and Marcus for contributing to an enjoyable year, where we have developed the new car and tyres together to a point where we have been quick in all conditions.
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'We now look towards the next few weeks with testing in Spain to find next year's driver pairing and to get the line-up for the 'one off' Abu Dhabi race in November.
'I would like to thank all members of our hard working team for their efforts this year. Everyone is determined to get back to the top next season and give our fans something to cheer about.'
Team Air Asia's first season may have fallen flat in the final rounds, but Davide Valsecchi (eighth) and Luiz Razia (12th) still recorded race wins and pole positions during the campaign to give them a platform for 2012 – although it remains to be seen whether the team may have to move out of Hingham over the winter as part of parent outfit Team Lotus' proposed relocation.