Imola: Inaugural race preview

GP2 series is go The GP2 series starts this weekend with two races at the Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. Twenty-four of the most talented up-and-coming drivers in the world will compete for our inaugural championship crown over 23 races at...

GP2 series is go

The GP2 series starts this weekend with two races at the Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. Twenty-four of the most talented up-and-coming drivers in the world will compete for our inaugural championship crown over 23 races at 12 circuits around the globe.

This new series has been designed with the specific intention of training the future generations of Grand Prix drivers, mechanics and engineers. At their disposal will be the all-new Dallara ­ Renault GP2 series car, which will run on grooved Bridgestone tyres. Never before has a feeder category been so close to Formula One in performance terms. The scene is set for a thrilling season.

Bruno Michel - GP2 series organiser: "A matter of months ago, the GP2 series was only an idea, a concept. Today, being here in Imola for our first race, this really is an incredible feeling. We have 12 wonderful teams and 24 talented drivers. Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated partners, the series is everything that we wanted it to be. The high standard achieved by all our teams is astounding, and their proximity to one another in terms of speed has been apparent in every test session we have run to date. Last week, in Spain, our top 15 drivers were covered by just one second. With this in mind, I'm positive that we have a very exciting season in store."

Patrick Faure - Renault F1 Team President: "Beginning in 2005, Renault will place single- seater competition at the heart of its motorsport strategy. The GP2 series, with its commitment to performance, long-term stability and proximity to its fans, provides an exciting shop-window for teams and drivers to demonstrate their capabilities to the outside world. In an arena of many competing formulae, we are confident that the rational structure of the Renault pyramid will provide competitors in junior motorsport with a credible path to top-flight competition.

"I am sure that this first weekend of action in the GP2 series will set the tone for a thrilling season of close and hard-fought competition."

Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport: "This series has attracted some highly talented individuals of 16 different nationalities and we are looking forward to seeing some nail-bitingly close action. There is after all, a Bridgestone Prize of US$100,000 to be won at the end of the year! The GP2 series has the potential to launch our stars of the future to a worldwide audience and with its great mixture of exciting drivers, new cars and both experienced and new teams, we hope everyone will enjoy and support this new series. Certainly we feel the Bridgestone ­ Renault ­ Dallara package to be extremely strong and we are all looking forward to assisting in the careers of these young drivers."

<pre> GP2 series, Rounds 1 and 2 Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari - Imola

Friday 22 April 09.30-10.00 Practice Session 15.30-16.00 Qualifying for Race 1 2 points for pole position

Saturday 23 April 14.10 Pitlane opens 14.20 Pitlane closes - grid 14.30 Race 1 - 37 laps Points for top eight drivers (10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) 2 points for fastest lap

Sunday 24 April 11.30 Race 2 - 17 laps Grid formed by finishing order of Race 1, with top eight positions reversed. Points for top six drivers (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) 2 points for fastest lap

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa , Bruno Michel
Teams Renault F1 Team