Bridgestone Motorsport Barcelona GP2 Series Preview

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series will start its exciting fifth season when 13 teams and 26 drivers from around the world line up on the grid with Bridgestone’s medium compound GP2 Series slick tyre in the first round of the ten round championship, as part of the Spanish Grand Prix on May 8-10. Bridgestone tyres are once more the official tyre for the GP2 Series as they have been since the Series began. Just like last season, the GP2 Series tyres will be produced at Bridgestone’s Technical Centre in Rome. In 2008 the hard compound tyre was used in Barcelona, however Bridgestone’s tyre allocations for 2009 are generally one step softer, so in Barcelona the medium compound will be used. All competitors will have to work hard to find the best set-up to harness the potential of Bridgestone’s tyres at the 4.66 km Circuit de Catalunya, located 20km to the north east of Barcelona. The circuit gives tyres a thorough workout. High loads are experienced, particularly in turn three, and those tyres on the left hand side of the car are put under a lot of stress. Bridgestone brings an average of 760 tyres to each round, and these include both wet and dry weather Potenza tyres. In 2008, Alvaro Parente (Super Nova Racing) and Kamui Kobayashi (DAMS) both took race wins in Barcelona. Both drivers return to GP2 for this season, Kobayashi remaining with DAMS, with whom he has just won the GP2 Asia Series championship whilst Parente is now racing with Ocean Racing Technology. Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development “Barcelona is quite a severe circuit so it will be a challenge for competitors to use a softer tyre than has been used here previously. Braking stability is important in Barcelona and it is very important to get a good car balance in the slow speed corners. This weekend will be a challenge for teams and drivers alike and I expect we will see some exciting racing as 26 drivers try to stake their claim on an F1 drive for next year.”

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