GP2

Valencia: Weekend reflections

GP2 series reflects on perfect weekend The first round of the 2006 GP2 series took place last weekend at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo and was seen as a huge success by everyone present. From the organisers to the teams, the...

GP2 series reflects on perfect weekend

The first round of the 2006 GP2 series took place last weekend at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo and was seen as a huge success by everyone present. From the organisers to the teams, the drivers to the fans, everyone's expectations were met as all the elements of the stand-alone race slotted into place to create a superb season-opening weekend in Valencia, Spain.

After two days of testing at the track, the race weekend officially began with the 2006 GP2 series launch at l'Hemisferic at the Ciudad de les Artes y las Ciencias, close to the port in Valencia itself. The event began with a champagne reception for the 600 guests which included Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore, Molt Honorable Presidente de la Generalitat Valenciana Sr. D. Francisco Camps and stars of the sporting world including Alain Prost, Patrick Kluivert, Fonsi Nieto and Juan Carlos Ferrero. The evening moved on with two showings of a 20 minute GP2 series movie which featured a live soundtrack from "Without Grace" a young unsigned act who have been promoted through www.gp2series.com. At the conclusion of the movies, the teams, drivers and VIPs took a gala dinner accompanied by movies about the GP2 series, and the evening finished off in style with a huge fireworks display.

The race weekend itself went off without a hitch. The Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo saw a thrilling qualifying session and two outstanding races, with plenty of overtaking and action. Nelson Piquet Jr took victory in Race 1 with GP2 series rookie Michael Ammermüller racing to glory in Race 2. With local hero Adrián Vallés making it to the podium on Saturday the local fans had plenty to cheer. Indeed, during the drivers' parade on Sunday a number of the GP2 series pilots were able to acknowledge their own fan clubs who had made their way to Valencia along with more than 50,000 fellow race fans. Official numbers for the weekend counted 52,500 paying members of the public pass through the circuit gates ­ a sensational figure for a single- seater event at the track.

With memories of a perfect opening weekend still fresh in everyone's minds, the GP2 series now looks towards Imola and the second race weekend of the 2006 season, while reflecting on a job well done in Valencia.

Bruno Michel GP2 series organiser "As we look back on the first weekend of the 2006 season, I am filled with a lot of pride and satisfaction. I would like to thank Molt Honorable Presidente de la Generalitat Valenciana Sr. D. Francisco Camps for making the GP2 series so welcome in the Comunitat Valenciana. Our gratitude must also go to Ilmo. Secretario Autonómico de Deporte Sr. D. David Serra, Sr. D. Eduardo Nogués and all the staff at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo for their hard work and dedication in the organisation and promotion of the first round of the 2006 GP2 series, and to all the companies and individuals who made our testing days, official launch party and race weekend run so smoothly. The weekend was a genuine pleasure for everyone who took part, and I am sure that the fans who turned out in such high numbers enjoyed the racing spectacle that the GP2 series has marked out as its reputation."

-gp2

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Alain Prost , Nelson Piquet , Flavio Briatore , Fonsi Nieto , Adrian Valles , Bruno Michel , Bernie Ecclestone