German driver Timo Glock (iSport) yesterday clinched the 2007 Bridgestone-backed GP2 Series title, winning the final race of the season in Valencia in a dominant fashion. Glock took the lead into the first corner and did not relinquish control, setting the fastest lap of the race en route to his victory, while his nearest championship challenger, Lucas di Grassi (ART) could only finish in thirteenth place. Glock collected the Bridgestone Prize of US $100,000 as the 2007 GP2 Series Drivers' Champion.
In Saturday's 45 lap race, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov (Campos) took his first ever GP2 race win after a great start from eighth on the grid, overtaking pole sitter Kazuki Nakajima (DAMS) on lap seven and finishing 2.5 seconds ahead of Giorgio Pantano (Campos) at the chequered flag.
The weather played a significant part in race one, as an afternoon rain shower left the track damp at the start of the race, forcing teams to opt for either slick or wet Bridgestone Potenzas. The rain made a brief return after the opening laps, but it wasn't long before the weather improved, resulting in an action-packed race as drivers were challenged by conditions and tyre choices. The top four finishers ran the duration of the race on dry weather tyres, with Pantano, Nakajima and Marcos Martinez (Racing Engineering) finishing second, third and fourth respectively behind Petrov.
Saturday's feature race was tough on championship contenders Glock and di Grassi, with both drivers starting on wets. Glock lost four positions on the first lap and further places when pitting for slicks on lap 11. His eventual seventh place secured him two points, but di Grassi spun out of contention on lap four.
In Sunday's 29 lap sprint race, the reverse grid provided Spaniard Javier Villa (Racing Engineering) with pole position at his home race, with Glock lining-up alongside him in second. Glock made a great start, jumping ahead of Villa, and led throughout, taking his fifth win of the season. Villa finished behind Glock with Andy Soucek (DPR) in third and di Grassi finishing out of the points.
Glock's emphatic Valencia win ensured he won the drivers' championship on 88 points, 11 points ahead of di Grassi on 77. Pantano (Campos) finished in third on 59 points. This year the teams' championship went to iSport on 118 points, as ART Grand Prix finished on 87 and Campos finished in third on 80.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"Congratulations to iSport and to Timo Glock for a well deserved championship victory in Valencia. Our medium compound tyres performed well and it was a great display from Timo after a difficult weekend with the weather. At the beginning of race one, the weather conditions were not entirely suited to the wet specification tyre. It was a tough choice whether to start on the wet or dry tyre but it seems that the eventual dry weather conditions benefited those who had started the race on our dry weather tyres. The result was a one -two podium finish for Campos and a tremendous debut win for Vitaly Petrov. All in all, it has been a successful season for Bridgestone in GP2 and we are proud to have been part of such a competitive season."