Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) was officially crowned the 2009 GP2 Series Drivers' Champion in Portimao earning himself the Bridgestone Prize of US$100,000. Although he clinched the ...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report
Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) was officially crowned the 2009 GP2 Series Drivers' Champion in Portimao earning himself the Bridgestone Prize of US$100,000. Although he clinched the drivers' title at the previous round in Monza, Hulkenberg strengthened his position at the top of the championship standings by winning the GP2 feature race in Portugal, with Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) taking victory on Sunday.
In Saturday's shortened 37 lap race, Hulkenberg stole the limelight, with Filippi finishing second and Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) taking third. Pole sitter Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) finished fourth, with Filippi claiming the point for the quickest time. Sunday's re-started 24 lap sprint race gave Filippi his first win of the season and his teammate Javier Villa second place, with Dani Clos (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) in third. Filippi claimed another point for fastest lap.
Hulkenberg is now the fifth champion of the Bridgestone-backed GP2 Series. Since the beginning of the 2009 season there have been eleven different race winners, Hulkenberg taking the most victories with a total of five race wins. Bridgestone's medium, soft and super soft GP2 dry slicks have provided entertaining racing as a result of softer compounds being allocated at the majority of circuits for 2009.
Hulkenberg finished the season on 100 points, ahead of Petrov on 75. In third was di Grassi with 63 points. This year the Teams' Championship went to ART Grand Prix on 136, with Barwa Addax Team taking second with 122 and Super Nova Racing third on 67.
Quote from Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport "Once again, this season's GP2 Series has been fantastically exciting! Race after race we have seen thrilling and close battles demonstrating what an ideal training ground for young drivers this series is. Indeed, we have already seen one driver step up from GP2 to Formula One this year. Bridgestone is proud to have played a role in supporting GP2. In choosing softer compounds at several of the rounds in 2009 we have further challenged the drivers and teams but hope this will stand them in good stead for the future. Finally, I am delighted to congratulate Nico Hulkenberg on becoming the 2009 GP2 Drivers' Champion and, in so doing, claiming the Bridgestone Prize for US$100,000. Congratulations also to ART Grand Prix on taking the Teams' Championship."
Quote from Chris Tandy - Bridgestone Motorsport Senior Engineer
"The selection of the soft compound was correct for Portugal and the tyre offered the performance and challenge requested by the GP2 organisers, without compromising safety parameters. Wear rate was influential on the car balance particularly for those drivers who chose to pit early in race one, those who did not were rewarded with consistency. Under the temperatures in Sunday's race the tyre performed within its operating window, creating an exciting finale to the season."