Asia: Sentul: Series race one report

Buemi wins feature race in Sentul Swiss Sebastien Buemi was handed his maiden GP2 win today in the feature race of the second round of 2008 GP2 Asia Series. It was very hot and humid this afternoon in Sentul where the feature race of the...

Buemi wins feature race in Sentul

Swiss Sebastien Buemi was handed his maiden GP2 win today in the feature race of the second round of 2008 GP2 Asia Series.

It was very hot and humid this afternoon in Sentul where the feature race of the second round of the 2008 GP2 Asia Series took place. Though it was expected, even feared, the rain never came, but that did not prevent for the race to be eventful! After only two laps, Adam Khan crashed into Bakkerud who then hit Harald Schleghelmilch. The safety car entered in action on Lap 2 and brought all the front runners in to make their compulsory pit stop. This left Bruno Senna to lead the race, followed by Hiroki Yoshimoto and five other drivers who decided to stay on track. Pole man Petrov came back in 8th place, while Valles passed Filippi in the pits. Things were a little bit more complicated for Championship leader Romain Grosjean during his pit stop and he came back out on 18th place.

The race restarted on lap 12 and the two front-runners kept on leading the race at a rapid pace with Bruno Senna setting the fastest lap time. But the gap he managed to get was wiped out mid-race by another safety car when Diego Nunes crashed his DPR car in the wall on the straight line. At the second restart, Senna, Yoshimoto, Herck and Valerio still had to pit. Petrov was then third with Filippi, Buemi and Valles in tow. Romain Grosjean had then made his way up to 9th position, behind another RDD driver and rookie, Ben Hanley who had started from 18th.

Senna and Yoshimoto were handed a drive-through penalty on the restart for overtaking the safety car before it had crossed the line at the beginning of the pit lane. Since Petrov went into the gravels and dropped to 6th, this left Filippi to lead the race in front of Buemi, Valles, Hanley and Grosjean. Bruno Senna managed to get back into the Top 8 before the end of the event.

If Filippi crossed the finish line a winner, the victory was eventually handed to Sebastien Buemi after the Italian was found to have used tyres allocated to his teammate, Yoshimoto. Adrian Valles was declared second and rookie Ben Hanley was handed his first GP2 podium finish in his first GP2 race ever. Romain Grosjean still leads the drivers' championship.

Sebastien Buemi (Trust Team Arden): "After the difficult weekend we had in Dubai, I really wanted to get back in the front. I didn't qualify as well as I wanted, but I pushed until the very last lap and it paid off. The team did a good job. I will now start from 8th tomorrow. Anything can happen on this track, so I'll try and make a good start and then we'll see."

Adrian Valles (FMS International): "Since the beginning of the Asia Series, we are quick and consistent. This morning, we lost pole because Petrov had a better strategy. For the race, we were expecting rain, so we set up the car for it. That's why I wasn't as fast as I could have been."

Ben Hanley (Barwa International Campos Team): "I'm so happy to be able to offer this podium to the team after Petrov snatched pole this morning. Today has had its ups and downs, but it finished on a high note. Starting from 18th and for my first GP2 Race ever, I was aiming at points. Now, third is a nice bonus.

Fastest lap time: Bruno Senna (iSport International) - 1:15.686 on lap 43

Luca Filippi (Qi-Meritus Mahara) - Excluded: tyres on his car were found to be allocated to his Hiroki yoshimoto

Stephen Jelley (ART Grand Prix) - Excluded: car refuelled on the grid prior to the start of the race.

-credit: gp2series.com

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Adam Langley-Khan , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Adrian Valles , Bruno Senna , Sébastien Buemi , Luca Filippi , Romain Grosjean , Diego Nunes , Ben Hanley , Stephen Jelley
Teams ART Grand Prix