Bridgestone Motorsport’s GP2 Asia Series Report

Oliver Turvey and Davide Valsecchi, iSport International teammates, have taken a win apiece at round two of the GP2 Asia Series, held at night under the bright lights of the 5.554km Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit. The medium compound Bridgestone GP2 tyre, the same as provided at the same venue for Round 1 in November, performed well and gave consistent performances throughout the weekend. With track temperatures approximately 20°C lower this time however, the GP2 Asia drivers had the new challenge of keeping plenty of heat in their tyres. The weekend started with a dusty track but by the time qualifying started and Frenchman Charles Pic (Arden International) had stormed to pole just 0.02 and 0.1 seconds ahead of Turvey and Valsecchi respectively, the circuit had started to clean up, setting the scene for the races to come. The 33-lap feature race went to Turvey, the rookie having stolen the lead on the opening lap and fended off his teammate Valsecchi. Constantly under pressure, the Briton took care to manage his Bridgestone tyres and controlled the race from the start. Mandatory pitstops commenced on lap 6 with Javier Villa diving in first and Turvey waiting until lap 10 before making his stop to emerge again in front of his Italian teammate. Most drivers elected to change their rear tyres. It was a hard fought race with the top six drivers running within 4-5 seconds of each other until the safety car came out on lap 22 but Turvey was unwilling to relinquish his lead. Although running third by the end of lap 1, Pic failed to capitalise on his pole position, having run wide on lap 12. Valsecchi took second to add 9 points, including a fastest lap bonus, to his tally from Round 1 and Jules Bianchi (ART Grand Prix) took a remarkable third place podium in his debut GP2 Asia race. Race 2 witnessed yet another spirited drive from Valsecchi. Having finished second in Race 1 on Friday, he took his second victory of the 2009-2010 series in spite of the reversed grid system that pushed him back to seventh on the starting grid. Valsecchi was consistently quick throughout the race, overtaking even in the last stages of the race and setting the fastest lap, a 1min 52,061secs, on lap 18 of the race’s 21-lap sprint duration. Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci made it a double podium for DPR with second and third places. Leaving Abu Dhabi, Valsecchi leads the drivers’ championship with 35 points from Turvey on 16. Rossi is third with 10. The teams’ championship is led by iSport International on 51 points from DPR on 15. Super Nova is in third place on 14. The next round of the GP2 Asia Series takes place in Bahrain on February 26-27. Quote from Kentaro Yamamoto – Bridgestone Motorsport GP2 Asia Series Engineer “First of all, I would like to express my congratulations to Oliver Turvey, who clinched his first victory in GP2 here and also to Davide Valsecchi, who took victory in Race 2, following his 2nd position in Race 1. After the series opener in November, this was the second consecutive round of the GP2 Asia Series to be held at the Yas Marina Circuit, and in comparison, the track temperature was lower this weekend by about 20 degrees. Unlike the last round in the heat, this time it was critical for each driver to heat up the tyres as quickly as possible, or as we saw in both races, maintain the heat during the safety car period. Our medium compound Bridgestone tyres worked well again and many drivers set their best lap times in the final stages of the races.”

Bridgestone Motorsport 

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