Alvaro Parente (Ocean Racing Technology) and Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) both took race wins in the eighth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at Spa Francorchamps, on Bridgestone's soft compound racing slick. Spa lived...
Alvaro Parente (Ocean Racing Technology) and Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) both took race wins in the eighth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at Spa Francorchamps, on Bridgestone's soft compound racing slick.
Spa lived up to its reputation for being a demanding and technical circuit, and as expected, tyre pressures and durability were key to maximising tyre performance at this venue. However, with no wet track conditions during the feature race, pit stop strategies were not so influential on the results as in previous years.
In Saturday's eventful 25 lap feature race, Parente took his second ever GP2 race win, after qualifying for his maiden pole and holding off championship leader Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix). With dry weather for the duration of the race, the Bridgestone slick tyres were used by all teams, with the compulsory pit stop being taken by most drivers between laps six and ten. Hulkenberg took eight points for second place, while Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) finished third. Parente claimed the point for fastest lap.
Sunday's 18 lap sprint race gave van der Garde victory, as the iSport driver made a great start passing Edoardo Mortara (Telmex Arden International) and Kamui Kobayashi (DAMS) before the first corner, leading the race from start to finish. Hulkenberg's weekend finished early as he went out on the first lap due to an incident at turn one. Roldan Rodriguez (Piquet GP) finished second, with Diego Nunes (iSport International) taking third. Sergio Perez (Telmex Arden International) climbed to fourth place from the back of the grid and put in the quickest lap.
Hulkenberg is currently on 83 points at the top of the drivers' championship, with Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) on 56 and di Grassi in third place with 46. ART Grand Prix leads the teams' championship with 119 points from Barwa Addax Team on 101. Fat Burner Racing Engineering is in third position with 46. The penultimate round of the GP2 Series will be held in Monza on 11-13 September, with Bridgestone's GP2 medium compound making its fourth and final appearance of the year.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development "Using the soft compound tyre here in Spa has meant a noticeable reduction in overall lap times. The durability of the tyres has been, as expected, a challenge for the drivers as they have needed to learn how to preserve the tyres for maximum performance. From analysis of the data obtained here by our engineers, we would not have been able to go any softer with the compound for this circuit. Tyre pressures, as we also anticipated, played an important part this weekend, higher pressures being required in order to provide good stability in the high speed corners. Congratulations to Alvaro Parente and Ocean Racing Technology for the team's first race win and to Giedo van der Garde for his second sprint race victory this season. "