Grosjean takes Asian feature race in Bahrain

Romain Grosjean of ART took a step closer to a GP2 Asia Series title with victory Saturday in the first of two weekend races at the Bahrain International Circuit. Sebastien Buemi of Arden and Kamui Kobayashi of DAMS filled out the race podium in...

Romain Grosjean of ART took a step closer to a GP2 Asia Series title with victory Saturday in the first of two weekend races at the Bahrain International Circuit. Sebastien Buemi of Arden and Kamui Kobayashi of DAMS filled out the race podium in second and third, respectively. Nineteen runners of 26 starters completed the 34-lap feature.

The pole-sitting French racer overcame a poor start that allowed iSport teammates Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna to scoot past. Grosjean dropped to fourth after a safety car was needed to restore order when Luca Filippi and Marco Bonanomi crashed on the first lap.

Grosjean passed Adrian Valles of FMSI and went on to a 15-second victory margin. He needs a top-three finish Sunday to claim the Asia championship.

"This is the longest race I've ever had," Grosjean said. "I'm one step closer to the title, but I'm mainly focusing on delivering a good performance tomorrow."

Chandhok, who started on the front row with Grosjean, suffered a slow pit stop then a spin on cold tires that put him at the back. Senna had to wait behind Chandhok when cars crowded the pit lane under the safety car. Senna worked his way back to fourth behind Kobayashi. Valles was fifth. Davide Valsecchi of Durango finished sixth.

Chandhok, in eighth, and Diego Nunes, who finished seventh for DPR, will start on the front row in Sunday's sprint race.

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Marco Bonanomi , Karun Chandhok , Adrian Valles , Bruno Senna , Kamui Kobayashi , Sébastien Buemi , Davide Valsecchi , Romain Grosjean , Diego Nunes
Teams DAMS