Holiday time is over, and the GP2 Series returns to racing ways this weekend at Istanbul Park, on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey, for Round Eight of the 2007 championship. This season's championship battle is turning into yet...
Holiday time is over, and the GP2 Series returns to racing ways this weekend at Istanbul Park, on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey, for Round Eight of the 2007 championship. This season's championship battle is turning into yet another closely fought contest and with four rounds remaining until the battles are decided, there is still all to play for, everything to gain and just as much to lose--
Cold Turkey: Fans of the GP2 Series who have been suffering racing withdrawl symptoms over the last three weeks, will see Istanbul Park as the perfect foundation upon which to base the resumption of the 2007 championship this weekend. The track, along with the GP2 Series, made its debut in 2005 and over the past two seasons the Turkish circuit has played host to four of the most astonishing and enthralling races in the championship's history.
Last year's action will be remembered not so much for Nelson Piquet's dominant Race 1 masterclass or Andi Zuber's debut GP2 win on Sunday, as it will for Lewis Hamilton's incredible second position in Race 2 having spun to the back of the field on the second lap of the race. His drive that day still rates, in Lewis' own words, as one of the defining moments of his career. Many at the time compared Lewis' seminal drive with Gilles Villeneuve's epic contest with Rene Arnoux at the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon in that all anyone would ever remember of that day was the fight for second position. His drive was, quite simply, that good.
One of the men who put up the sternest challenges to the seemingly unstoppable Briton at this track 12 months ago was Timo Glock, and it seems fitting that we arrive back in Istanbul with the German still leading a championship he has commanded from the off. His title-leading gap has waned of late however, and his great rival Lucas di Grassi now sits just one point behind.
While the two rivals fight it out at the top, the GP2 Series welcomes two new drivers to the fold this weekend. Following a training accident, Trident Racing's Pastor Maldonado, who sits eighth in the championship, has succumbed to a fractured collarbone and will be replaced by Ricardo Risatti, who tested impressively for a number of GP2 teams over the winter period. Meanwhile at BCN Competicion, Markus Niemela's dislocated shoulder could see him out for many weeks more and the Spanish squad has called in fellow Finn Henri Karjalainen as his replacement.
What about the championship? Timo had a dej