The second round of the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Championship took place this weekend at the Dubai Autodrome. Andreas Zuber and Kevin Chen were back in action for Fisichella Motor Sport International as the team embarked on the third and fourth races of the second season of the championship.
The weekend format differed slightly this time around, with free practice and qualifying set to take place on Thursday, the feature race on Friday and the sprint race on Saturday.
In Thursday's 30-minute free practice session, Zuber finished 14th fastest and Chen 23rd fastest out of the 26 cars competing this weekend. In the afternoon qualifying session Zuber was able to improve and set the 11th fastest time, setting himself up on the sixth row of the grid, while Chen was on the 12th row. In Friday's 34-lap feature race, Chen was able to progress through the field, crossing the line in 18th position, an improvement of eight places from his starting slot. Zuber endured a difficult race, suffering from brake system problems and eventually crossing the line in 21st position, four laps down from the leaders.
Unfortunately Saturday's sprint race was cancelled after excessive overnight flooding at the track. Following a track inspection by the race directors, it was their collective view that the volume of water on the track, and the likelihood of there being any improvement during the day, would make it impossible to run any races safely.
After the Christmas break, attentions will turn to the third weekend of the GP2 Asia Championship, which is set to take place in Bahrain on 23 and 24 January 2009.
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal: "Kevin did a good job in the feature race. He improved his pace a lot from qualifying and is improving every time he gets in the car. He is racing without much experience at this level and is doing a strong job. We were very unfortunate with Andreas as we had a very fast car and he is capable of good results. He was up to third in the race then fell back to eighth. He touched with another car and had to make the pitstop. There was a problem with the brake system after he went over a kerb and we had to stop again to look at that. After that it was a case of surviving the race and finishing. It's frustrating not to have any points on the board yet but now we will be working hard ahead of the next race in January."