Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Asia Series Report

2009 GP2 Asia Series. Round 5.
Sepang, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. 
Saturday 4th April. Saturday Race.
Diego Nunes (BRA, Piquet Sports). Action. 
World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Series Media Service
ref: Digital Image _H0Y8919

Diego Nunes (Piquet GP) and Vitaly Petrov (Campos) both took race wins in the fifth round of the GP2 Asia Series which took place in Sepang, Malaysia. Bridgestone’s medium compound slick GP2 tyre was used for the first time here, giving drivers a greater tyre management challenge than previously, when the more durable hard compound was used. Additionally, the Sepang weather served up a surprise with heavy rainfall before Sunday’s race, meaning that Bridgestone’s wet GP2 tyre was used in a race which started under safety car conditions. Saturday’s Feature Race saw Nunes manage his tyres to perfection to take his first win for the Piquet GP squad. After making his compulsory pit stop on lap 13, Nunes was able to maintain good lap times right to the finish line, which he crossed ahead of Kamui Kobayashi (Dams) and James Jakes (Super Nova). Pole-sitter Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dams) was unable to start the race due to a driveshaft problem. Sunday’s Sprint Race was delayed by thirty minutes due to heavy rain. It was then started behind the safety car and the chequered flag was waved due to time expired rather than laps completed. Petrov made the most of the grip levels provided by Bridgestone’s dynamic wet tyre, which wears to provide suitable grip as a race track dries. Pastor Maldonado (ART) finished second and Davide Valsecchi (Durango) took third. Leaving Malaysia, Kobayashi continues to lead the championship with 47 points, ahead of Valsecchi with 34. Petrov jumps to third place with 28. The teams’ championship continues to be led by Dams with 70 points from Campos on 54. ART are in third with 41. The final round of the GP2 Asia Series takes place alongside the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 24-26. Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto – Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Series Engineer “We enjoyed two very different races here in Sepang. On Saturday we had dry conditions so we were able to watch the drivers face the challenge of the medium compound tyre, which is one position softer than the tyre we used here last year. Race winner Diego Nunes managed his tyres very well and was consistent at the end of the race, whilst drivers who changed their tyres relatively early experienced more drop off in performance. Sunday’s race was interesting as we have not previously seen wet conditions in the GP2 Asia Series. Despite this, the drivers did very well in difficult conditions and our wet tyre worked very well.”

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