Marco Bonanomi wins the final race of inaugural GP2 Asia season The final race of the inaugural GP2 Asia season was an action packed affair and despite the fact that the Championship was decided a week earlier this did not stop the future...
Marco Bonanomi wins the final race of inaugural GP2 Asia season
The final race of the inaugural GP2 Asia season was an action packed affair and despite the fact that the Championship was decided a week earlier this did not stop the future Formula One stars from putting on a thrilling performance on the final day of Grand Racing at Dubai Autodrome on Saturday, 12 April 2008.
From the lights Serbia's Milos Pavlovic (BCN Competition) got a good start but was soon swallowed up by Belgian Jerome D'Ambrosio, Turkey's Jason Tahinci (BCN Competition), Ho-Pin Tung (Trident Racing) and Russian Vitaly Petrov (Campos Team). Italian Marco Bonanomi (Piquet Sports) grasped the lead with Swiss ace Sebastian Buemi (Trust Team Arden) making a superb start to slot into second place.
On lap 6 the Safety Car was deployed after an on track incident involving Armaan Ebrahim (David Price Racing) and Ben Hanley (Campos Team). Four laps later the field was unleashed with Bonanomi making a great start and wrong footing Buemi who lost a position before recovering and commencing a gallant chase of the leader up until the finish line but was half a second short of winner Bonanomi. With Buemi taking second.
Behind them D'Ambrosio managed to break away from the pack to take a comfortable third ahead of Italy's Davide Valsecchi (Durango) who showed strong pace after the Safety Car period and kept out of trouble to take a well deserved fourth place.
The battle for fifth frantic in the final laps and only decided a few corners from the end with Tung fending off Yelmer Buurman (Trust Team Arden) and Fairuz Fauzy (Super Nova Racing).
Friday race winner and newly crowned champion Frenchman Romain Grosjean (ART Grand Prix) got bogged down at the start but fought back into sixth place. Shortly after the Safety Car period he made a mistake exiting the hairpin which resulted in him losing control his car and crashing into the wall and out of the race.
Thus concluded the first season of GP2 Asia on the Grand Racing bill - new Champion, new stars and a successful new series which looks set to become the premier (non-Formula One) racing championship in the Middle East and Asia in years to come. Dubai Autodrome Chairman Saeed Khalfan said, "We have seen today future Formula One starts in action. Like their predecessors in GP2 (the Hamiltons, Piquets, Rosbergs) these youngsters Grosjean, Senna, Buemi, Chandhok, Bonanomi will one day become household names of motorsport. The young guns attracted many new young fans to our venue. We at Dubai Autodrome are proud to be associated with this series and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with this series which provided a great show first in January and again this weekend."