GP2 Asia Series season four opens this week
Following the pre-season testing last week in Abu Dhabi, the new season of the GP2 Asia Series opens this Thursday at Yas Marina Circuit on the 4.730 kms layout. The GP2/11, the third generation car since the Series' inception, will also make its racing debut. In the past four test days, the new machine has proved to be reliable and fast, with Jules Bianchi at Lotus ART setting a new track record in a 1:35.940 on the same circuit configuration which will be used this weekend.
The GP2 Asia Series enters in its fourth season after three successful years that saw Romain Grosjean, Kamui Kobayashi and Davide Valsecchi conquer. This time, it will comprise of three rounds -- one in Abu Dhabi and two in Bahrain, including one round as a support race to the Formula One season opener in March.
The GP2 paddock welcomes two new teams -- Carlin and Team AirAsia rounding up the number of teams entered for this season to thirteen. Six rookies will compete: Jolyon Palmer at Arden, GP3 Series reigning Champion Esteban Gutierrez at Lotus ART, Pеl Varhaug at Dams, Andrea Caldarelli at Ocean Racing, Julian Leal at Rapax and Nathanael Berthon at Racing Engineering. With ten race winners racing alongside them, including two GP2 Asia Series Champions in the form of Romain Grosjean and Davide Valsecchi, this new season promises to be extremely competitive as shown during pre-season testing when seventeen drivers were running within the same second.