The GP2 Asia Series featured its first-ever night race at Losail, Qatar. The first heat of the weekend brought some hard luck to Trident Racing`s Frankie Provenzano, who was hit from behind in the closing stages and forced to retire, while team-mate Davide Rigon successfully came back to 14th and will start from Row 7 on tomorrow`s Race 2. Today`s race was marred by a long Safety-Car period due to a crash at the start that fortunately left the involved drivers unscattered. Both Provenzano and Rigon improved their position during the race, showing a steady progress in the cars` performance level. The Qatar weekend will end tomorrow: Race 2 will be broadcasted by Eurosport 2 at 18:00 CET.
Davide Rigon (14th)
"I made a good start, allowing me to move through the pack and take 14th. Unfortunately, I received a hard bump from behind at turn 2, and I subsequently hit the car I had in front. In the first laps I stopped to replace the front wing, ending up at the back of the pack during the full-course caution. After the re-start, we anticipated our pit-stop, and I was finally able to turn some quick laptimes. In the second half of the race though, I felt a performance fade and a downshift problem. Despite the issues, I managed to pass several slower cars, though I had to take some risks with braking. On a physical standpoint, my body performed well too, and the situation could have been even better with a longer distance".
Frankie Provenzano (DNF)
"I was able to climb back 8 spots at the start, moving from 24th to 14th. After the end of the safety-car period, I kept staying on-track in an attempt to make up some positions with a late pit-stop. That strategy eventually didn`t pay off, as I found myself behind many other drivers that were behind me. At that point, I tried to catch Herck, but he blocked me several times with some bold maneuvers. I had to slow down and Ricci, who profited from the duel to close the gap, hit me from behind. I went off-track, damaging a rear rim that suddenly broke, putting me out of contention. I feel bad because, apart from the low starting position, I experienced a really positive day and I could have ended up in 13th".