Durango - Davide Valsecchi (Winner) Carlos Iaconelli (DNF)
Davide Valsecchi is the first italian who made the italian anthem be officially played in China after the Olympics! The Durango driver in fact won Shanghai Race 2 thanks to a perfect race led from flag to flag. Carlos Iaconelli unfortunately had to retire immediately because been hit by a competitor.
Davide commented: "Yesterday I drove the whole race with a damaged suspension because of a whack taken during the first lap. But today the only problem I got was not to make a mistake at the start. I did not make it so exiting the first corner as a leader gave me even more determination. During the first stages I tried to keep the things alright not forcing too much. Then I increased the rhythm driving the great car Durango gave me till the chequered flag. Bellissimo!".
Ivone Pinton said: "I am sorry for Carlos who deserved to drive a nice race but I am over the moon because of Davide's victory. Now we are going to celebrate but be sure that we all will do our best to get on having such a good time in the future!"
My Qi-Meritus.Mahara - Earl Bamber (2nd) Alex Yoong (9th)
Malaysian Alex Yoong and New Zealand rookie Earl Bamber started respectively from 13th and third to finish the 24-lap second race of their GP2 Asia series career in ninth place and second places respectively.
Bamber's startling runner up position brings five more points to the team for its first weekend of racing in the second season, bringing the total to eight. Having scored points in both race, Bamber now ranks fourth in the GP2 Asia driver's championship. It was an exciting start for the young New Zealander in the second race as he jumped up one position at the start and ended the first lap only 0.8s behind eventual winner David Valsecchi. Yoong had a great start as well and from 14th position climbed to eighth behind Jerome d'Ambrosio and ahead of Hiroki Yoshimoto.
Bamber: "I had a strong start and went to the outside in the first corner. It worked again like it did yesterday and I managed to position just behind Valesechhi so that I gained one position. After that we lapped 0.9s behind him and towards the ninth lap I was really pushing him and did a couple of really good laps, in 1.48.851 and then 1.48.500. By mid race, I was fighting hard but being careful to maintain control. Towards the end I was a bit tired, but it is a great start for the Championship. The competition in GP2 Asia is harder than what I have experienced until now, but I'm pleased with
the way I handled the pressure. The car is fantastic, but I am still on a learning curve. If the team gets to work a bit more on the car, we will have other good races. I had never dreamt of such an incredible result having ranked 23rd in our first practice session. This was a great result, and on my father's birthday too!"
Alex Yoong: "I am very pleased with my race. I started 14th and then was eighth until Yoshimoto pushed to pass me. I finish ninth. Not a bad result considering that we had the same speed problem on the straight as yesterday and I was 8 km/h slower than Earl with the same car. We will progress more for next race."
Peter Thompson, Team Founder: "I am very happy to have the two cars at the finish and Earl Bamber on the podium in only his second race. The team worked very hard and I would like to congratulate the mechanics, the engineers and our Team Principal Gianfranco Bielli for this incredible result. Now I can only think about the sponsors. It is a fantastic achievement."
Firhat Yuri Bin dato Mokhzani, Team Director: "It was a perfect day for the team today. Let's prepare for next event in December in Dubai."
Raad S. Abduljawad, Team Chairman: " A great result today for My Qi-Meritus.Mahara, the first Arab-Asian team to compete at this high level. I would have very much liked to be present at the race myself and share this good performance with everyone. I can only congratulate them for this excellent result. I have always been confident that we can be more competitive this year and hope that we will score more podiums at the next event in Dubai on our home ground."
Trident Racing - Chris Van der Drift (4th) Giacomo Ricci (DNF)
Trident Racing scored a second straight points finish in today's GP2 Asia Race 2 at Shanghai, scoring 4th place with Chris Van der Drift. The New Zealander proved his potential top-status again by staying among the leaders all-day long. Van der Drift also took 7th place in standings, at his first experience in a major open-wheel race. On the other hand, Giacomo Ricci experienced another bad break by ending his day early due to a contact with Carlos Iaconelli. Trident Racing will now be focusing on the next race, scheduled to take place at Dubai on the first weekend of December.
Chris Van der Drift: "I started in second place, but ended up in 4th: that might sound like a bad race, but I'm really pleased for how we ended up today indeed, mainly because of the rebound since the bad start in Qualifying. At the beginning, I tried to keep third place, but I really couldn't do much against Villa, who was really strong today. I'm glad of how I kept Jerome D'Ambrosio behind, avoiding any kind of mistake and taking a valuable point finish for myself and the team. The car also showed an impressive progress since Race 1, though I reckon our rivals should have improved as well."
Giacomo Ricci: "I had a pretty decent start, then I missed braking point at the last corner on lap 1 and went slightly long. I couldn't avoid touching Iaconelli but it was a classic race incident: I tried to push the braking limit, and he closed the door. I even tried to rejoin after the hit, but the steering wasn't straight anymore and a suspension was bent, so I had to join the DNF list early. I think we really deserved a better result, since we worked really hard during the whole weekend. I hadn't tasted a GP2 car in 6 months, and I had never driven the model used in the Asia Series. I think the overall experience was quite positive, and I hope It will lead to a good season."
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Managing Director: "Trident Racing closed its first weekend of the 08-09 GP2 Asia Series season with a points finish captured on Race 2 by Chris Van Der Drift. The New Zealander showed an outstanding maturity in dealing with the assault of some more experienced drivers. After letting Villa pass by, as the Spaniard was on a faster pace, he kept DAMS' Jerome D'Ambrosio behind for the following 12 laps, despite the Belgian driver has already entered a full season. It's a great result for a rookie like Chris, who was attempting his first GP2 race at Shanghai and play the right cards for a ride in the 2009 Main Series. Trident Racing ended the first race of the season with 5 points, a better score than the one achieved by Harald Schlegelmilch and Ho Pin Tung during the whole 2007-2008 championship. The overall performance improved significantly between Race 1 and Race 2, and we feel we're still missing something in comparison to the other front runners. I want to ask our staff one more effort to be on top since the beginning at Dubai, since qualifying will be vital in order to fight for a place on the podium. Giacomo Ricci made a good start, and tried to be aggressive since the beginning. Unfortunately, an involuntary contact ended his day early, preventing him from scoring a well-deserved top-10 finish. Trident Racing, set to be strengthened by the arrival of Riccardo Corbari, will be now focusing on the upcoming GP2 Main Series tests at Jerez and on the next GP2 Asia race at Dubai".
DAMS - Jérôme d'Ambrosio (5th) Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
This weekend Kamui Kobayashi scored DAMS's first rostrum finish of the 2008-09 Asian GP2 Series Championship in the opening round on the Shanghai circuit. The Japanese driver who started from second place on the grid in Saturday's race was in the lead for a long time. He lost a place after the race restarted following a safety car intervention. Today, Kamui wasn't so lucky. He made a good start and then fell back a few places when he had to avoid a spinning car. After that, he hit debris from another competitor and had to retire due to the damage this caused. He leaves Shanghai in third place in the drivers' ratings.
Jérôme d'Ambrosio saw the flag in ninth place in Saturday's race. The Belgian could have scored points as he was quick and consistent, but a problem during his stop lost him precious seconds. Today, he set off like a bat out of hell from ninth spot on the grid. He pushed hard and passed his rivals one after another finishing in fifth place and ope ning his score with 2 points.
Eric Boullier, team manager: "It's a pity we missed out on victory by so little yesterday. Kamui had the race in his pocket until the safety car came out and reduced the gaps to zero. Without this glitch he would have finished first. Today, Jérôme drove a great race and fought his way through the field to finish fifth. DAMS scored points in both of this weekend's round. Overall, we're happy with the way the championship's begun for us and we're determined to be among the front-runners in the next round."
Kamui Kobayashi: "It's been a good week for me as I was fighting at the front in practice, qualifying and the race. Of course, it's infuriating not to have won yesterday especially after leading the race for so long. But I showed how quick I was by setting the fastest lap. Today, things didn't go off as well but it would have been difficult to score points after the first lap incident. Overall, it's been a very positive weekend and I reckon we've got a good chance of winning the title this season."
Jérôme d'Ambrosio: "The championship didn't get off to a great start yesterday as I was in the running for points until I had a problem. I stalled during my stop and that lost me two places. Luckily, today went off much better. The car was very quick and I was able to push throughout the race. My fifth place gives me my first points of the season."
DPR - Yuhi Sekiguchi (12th) Michael Herck (16th)
DPR concluded the opening round of the 2008 GP2 Asia Series with a 12th and a retirement in the Sprint race at the Shanghai circuit in China. The second of the two races this weekend was a 23 lap lights to flag distance, with DPR debuting Yuhi Sekiguchi. After a retirement in yesterday's Feature race the Japanese driver bounced back to finish in 12th position. It was a reversal of fortunes for DPR regular driver Michael Herck, who finished 15th in the Feature race but had a last lap off track excursion which ended his race just a few corners before the chequered flag, and a 16th place classification.
Herck lined up in 15th place for the start of the Sprint race, while Sekiguchi was further back in 23rd position, having incurred a five place grid penalty for his part in the incident with Filippi which ended his race prematurely yesterday. Both DPR drivers made clean starts, with Sekiguchi making up five positions after a first lap incident ahead ended with two cars pitting for repairs. Herck, caught up by the incident, dropped back to 16th place.
On the fourth lap Herck ran wide and was overtaken by two cars including Sekiguchi, so that the Japanese DPR pilot was running in 17th place and Herck in 19th. A few laps later Sekiguchi passed his adversary Filippi to claim another place, further benefiting from Nelson Philippe pitting. Herck also claimed another place from this, with the Monaco driver sitting in 16th, and Sekiguchi in 15th ahead. With Kobayashi and Petrov dropping out the duo improved their positions to 13th and 14th. Razia then fell out of the race to benefit both drivers, but Philippe was able to scrape past Herck to leave him in 14th on the penultimate lap. Sekiguchi passed the chequered flag in 12th place, a commendable effort from 23rd on the grid at the start. Herck, however, ended up classified in 16th place after running wide on the last lap, spearing across the track and narrowly avoiding the barriers.
David Price, Team Principal, summed up today's race saying, "Yuhi had a good run today and showed the potential he has for a top ten finish, but having started at the back it was never going to be easy for him in this race. Michael was also running well for much of the race and continues to show improvement in pace. It was one finish and one retirement each this weekend. We're pleased to have had good reliability throughout the weekend; we just need to get both cars to the finish next time out."
FMS International - Kevin Chen (15th) Andreas Zuber (DNF)
The GP2 Asia championship got underway this weekend, with teams competing at the Shanghai International Circuit in China. Fisichella Motor Sport International was in action with Kevin Chen and Andreas Zuber undertaking driving duties for the team.
For Zuber, his weekend fate was almost sealed on Friday. After an extremely strong free practice session in which he finished third fastest behind Kamui Kobayashi and Roldan Rodriguez, Zuber headed into qualifying with huge potential. However, he was forced out of the session on his fast outlap due to an engine problem, putting him at the very back of the grid for Saturday's feature race. His teammate Chen embarked on his first ever GP2 qualifying and secured his place just in front of Zuber for Saturday's start.
In Saturday's 34-lap feature, Andreas made a fantastic start from the back, catapulting into the top ten and aiming to get into the points. However, he had a frustrating battle with Davide Valsecchi and, due to the Durango drivers' early braking, Zuber damaged his front nose. He eventually made the move on Valsecchi but was hit by him and James Jakes, putting an end to his promising race. Kevin Chen was having a steady GP2 debut and building up his experience but his race also ended early after an unlucky spin after his compulsory pitstop.
Chen began from 18th and Zuber from 20th in Sunday's shorter 23-lap sprint race. Zuber made a fantastic start, moving up to P10 on the first lap but as Diego Nunes spun, he collected Zuber on his right rear tyre, putting him out of the race. Chen initially fell to 20th but then made steady progress, passing the chequered flag in 15th position.
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal: "Unfortunately Andreas' weekend was set in qualifying and it is extremely frustrating for us. He had a fantastic pace in practice and we were fully expecting to fight for the pole. Our car and driver package was so strong, that was our target. Unfortunately the engine failure on the outlap affected the whole weekend from there on and Andreas was put out of both races. It could have been easy for us to score points, even from our starting positions. He did everything right to come back into the top ten and his race pace was great. Kevin had a good debut and he has completed a lot of laps in order to build up his experience. Finishing 15th was a good achievement for him today. Now we look forward to Dubai and there we aim to realise our potential."
GFH Team iSport - Hamad Al Farman (DNF)
The opening two rounds of the GP2 Asia Series yielded no points for GFH Team iSport, despite Hamad Al Fardan's bright start to this morning's 23-lap sprint race. From 14th on the grid, the Bahraini driver worked his way into the lower reaches of the top 10 before a hydraulic pump failure forced him to retire.
Team-mate Giedo van der Garde did not take part. The Dutchman flew back to Europe to fulfil a prior commitment: he had to attend a prize-giving ceremony in Barcelona, to collect his trophy for winning this year's Formula Renault V6 title.
Hamad Al Farman: "I made a really good start and was enjoying a close fight for a place in the top 10. It was unfortunate that I was unable to finish, but overall I am very encouraged by the way things have gone this weekend. My race pace has been good and I think I have demonstrated that I will be able to obtain strong results in this series once I have gained a little more experience. The team has been brilliant and is helping me learn as I go along, so I'm sure I'll be able to produce an even better performance when we get to Dubai in December."
Paul Jackson, team principal: "It's a shame we were only able to field one car today, but we completely understood Giedo's obligations to Renault and didn't want to stand in his way. We look forward to welcoming him back in Dubai. As for Hamad, we are very impressed with the way he has adapted and I think his performance bodes very well for the future."