Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report Vitaly Petrov and BARWA International Campos teammate, Lucas di Grassi, both took race wins in the eighth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the exciting new Valencia street course in ...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report
Vitaly Petrov and BARWA International Campos teammate, Lucas di Grassi, both took race wins in the eighth round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the exciting new Valencia street course in Spain.
Russian driver Petrov took his first win of the season in Saturday's feature race which ended in an unusual fashion with four drivers running out of fuel in the closing laps and Giorgio Pantano (Racing Engineering) losing out on victory. Di Grassi's finish on Sunday made it a memorable weekend for the Campos team.
Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza GP2 racing slick was used for the fifth time this year in the European Series and proved the right specification for the all-new Valencia circuit. The medium compound showed minimal wear and was selected based on Bridgestone's experience, track layout, the high temperatures expected and surface characteristics. Competitors faced a tough weekend as they tried to find the best set-up with the added difficulty of rapidly improving track conditions.
In Saturday's 34 lap race, Pantano took the lead from pole but was then denied his fifth win of the season as he coasted to a halt on the last lap. Petrov, having started from third, drove well and crossed the line 0.8 seconds ahead of Pastor Maldonado (Piquet Sports), with Romain Grosjean (ART) finishing in third behind the Venezuelan. Lack of fuel caused Bruno Senna (iSport International) to roll over the finish line, dropping from fifth to ninth. Pantano set the fastest lap but finished out of the top ten so the point went to Maldonado.
Sunday's 23 lap sprint race was action-packed with Luca Filippi (Trust Team Arden) leading until lap 11 when Grosjean overtook Filippi, the Italian then taking out the Frenchman handing di Grassi first place. Filippi crossed the line in second but was issued with a 25 second penalty giving Jerome D'Ambrosio (DAMS) second place and Pantano third. Di Grassi set the fastest lap.
Leaving Valencia, Pantano leads the drivers' championship on 71 points from Senna still on 58. Di Grassi is in third position on 51 points. iSport International leads the teams' championship with 89 points from Campos on 82. Racing Engineering is in third place on 79. The penultimate round of the GP2 Series will be held at the epic Spa race circuit in Belgium where Bridgestone's medium compound will be used.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development "This weekend our medium compound has worked very, very well. Degradation has been good and near to the final lap in the feature race Maldonado and Pantano got under 1 minute 47 seconds. There are two reasons for this, the tyre worked well and the circuit improved more over the weekend than most circuits as it is a brand new venue. I believe it is very quick for a street circuit, although the big changes from low to high speeds made fuel consumption much worse than anyone expected."