The GP2 Asia Series returns ..

 to familiar ground

After Shanghai’s curtain-raiser, next stop for the competition is Dubai this week.

The  second  season  of  the  GP2  Asia  Series  opened  in  Shanghai  last  October  and  saw  Roldan Rodriguez  and  Davide  Valsecchi  win  the  first  two  races. 

Finishing  sixth  in  the  sprint  race,  the Spaniard  from  Piquet  GP  scored  a  further  point  while  his  main  rival,  Dams’  Kobayashi,  had  to retire. 

Although  extremely  quick  on  the  Chinese  track,  the  Japanese  ace  lost  the  feature  race following  a  spin  towards  the  end  of  the  event,  meaning  that  Rodriguez  is  currently  leading  the Championship, three points ahead of Javier Villa at Super Nova Racing.

In  third,  Kamui  Kobayashi  will  most  likely  try  and  get  his  revenge  this  week  in  Dubai.  However, some  other  very  competitive  drivers  are  also  looking  to  make  another  great  impression  such  as Meritus’ rookie Earl Bamber.

The young Kiwi scored his first GP2 podium in Shanghai’s sprint race. More   experienced   drivers   are   hungry   for   success   as   well   such   as   Vitaly   Petrov,   Jérôme d’Ambrosio,   Sakon   Yamamoto   or   local   star   Andreas   Zuber.  And  with  the  arrival  of  Pastor Maldonado at ART Grand Prix, the fight for the win promises to be quite exciting.

Last season, events in Dubai book-ended the inaugural GP2 Asia Series, and as a result the circuit is  a  familiar  hunting  ground  for  many  competitors, including Barwa Campos International Team’s Vitaly  Petrov.  The  24-year-old  Russian  finished  third  in  the  first season and is looking forward to capitalising on his experience in Dubai.

“The Dubai circuit feels good in a GP2 car, and it’s in quite an amazing city” explains Petrov. “You need quite a long time to learn the circuit and also to find the  setup.  It’s  technical  and  quite  difficult  in  places,  so  it’s  very  important to find the line, but we have some good setup information from there that we managed to get last season.”

In  addition  to  the  team’s  stock  of  technical  data  from  last  season,  Petrov  believes  that  his  time behind  the  wheel  will  also  pay  dividends.  “I’ve  had  four  races  in  Dubai,  and  anyone  who  has experience  there  should  be  at  an  advantage.  It  will  be  very  different  for  us  than  racing  in  China where we’ve had very little experience and no data to use as a starting point. “

There are a couple of  areas  on  the  circuit  in  particular  where  a  bit  of  knowledge  puts  you  in  a  good  position.  For example, turns one and two flow into each other and after the first corner there is a very fast line if you  can  avoid  going  down  hill  in  the  braking  zone. 

Similarly,  before  the  long  straight  you  have  a long left corner with lots of bumps and reverse camber, which makes it very interesting – But I’m not going to give away all my secrets now!”

Schedule

Thursday 4th December

13.15 Practice 16.30 Qualifying

Friday 5th December

13.10 Race Start

Sunday 6th December

13.00 Race Start