Scorching weather in Turkey generated track temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius for round eight of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series. Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza was put to the test in the heat and scintillating action came from...
Scorching weather in Turkey generated track temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius for round eight of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series. Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza was put to the test in the heat and scintillating action came from two exciting races in which Lucas di Grassi (ART) took his first-ever GP2 Series win in Saturday's feature race and Timo Glock (iSport) claimed his third victory of the season on Sunday.
It was not only the track and ambient temperatures which provided a tough challenge for the Bridgestone Potenza tyres, as the high G-force multi-apex turn eight also creates heat in the tyres, adding to one of their toughest tests of the year. Despite this, performance was consistent, and heat durability impressive. Illustrating just how well the tyres performed, Glock completed a 28-lap stint before changing his tyres in Saturday's race, the fastest car on track to the end of this stint.
In Saturday's race, di Grassi took the lead for his win on lap 30, although Andreas Zuber (iSport) was set to take the top step of the podium until he went out on lap 21 after a mistake under braking. Zuber was the leading car which had made its compulsory pit stop, and there were three cars ahead which had yet to stop. Glock eventually finished in fourth following his late pit stop, allowing di Grassi to take an overnight lead in the Drivers' Championship.
Glock re-claimed the top spot in the Drivers' standings in Sunday's shorter 23 lap sprint race, as reverse grid pole sitter Karun Chandhok (Durango) was denied his first ever GP2 win when he was hit by Kazuki Nakajima (DAMS) half way through the race. Nakajima received a drive through penalty for the collision. This allowed Glock to move up from third to take the lead and a valuable six point victory.
Glock leads the Drivers' Championship on 66 points, followed by di Grassi on 64, as Luca Filippi (Super Nova) remains in third position with 37. Staying on the hard compound Bridgestone Potenzas, GP2 will next experience the high-speeds of Monza for round nine of the series at the Italian Grand Prix on 7-9 September.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development "The grip levels were not so high over the weekend as the track is smooth and we started the race weekend with the circuit quite dirty, but drivers could control their cars with a good car set-up. GP2 had two good races, and the hard compound was the right tyre choice for this circuit and the conditions we experienced here. This is definitely the most challenging test of the hard compound so far this season and our tyres performed well."