Dubai, December 4, 2008 - Round 2 - GP2 Asia Series.
#26 Alberto Valerio, 20th (1:42.541)
#27 Chris Van der Drift, 24th (1:43.393).
The second round of the 2008-09 GP2 Main Series started today at Dubai Autodrome with practice and qualifications. Trident Racing came to U.A.E. fielding returning Chris Van der Drift and Brazilian Alberto Valerio, who was warmly welcomed by the whole team. Valerio completed the work assigned by the engineers in practice, ending up in 22nd, while Van der Drift was way less lucky: the New Zealander crashed at the beginning of the session due to a brake problem, and his car couldn`t be back on-track in time due to the extensive repairs needed by the front end. The trouble also conditioned Van der Drift`s qualification session, since he was forced to the impossible task of learning a new circuit in just 30 minutes. He`ll take off from 24th place on tomorrow`s Race 1, and will be facing a tough comeback attempt. Valerio didn`t encounter such problems, but had a tough time in showing his full speed potential and had to content with a spot on row 10. The first race of the weekend will be given way at 13:10 local time (GMT+4), on a 34-lap distance. TV coverage is yet to define, but satellite channel Eurosport will broadcast both races.
Chris Van der Drift
“Today`s results were heavily conditioned by this morning`s brake issue, that caused my early crash in practice. After losing one entire session, I didn`t have the time I needed to get the right confidence with an unknown track, and we were forced to conduct technical checkups in qualifying. When all the other cars were out to turn their quick laps, we had to recover the lost ground. It`s a pity, like happened at Shanghai, we started the weekend with the wrong foot”.
“The 20th place scored in qualifying doesn`t reflect my potential at all. Today we couldn`t get what we deserved due to a series of minor reasons, but the weekend is still long. I hope to start fighting back since tomorrow`s Race 1, in order to score a top-10 finish. That would reward both me and the team of all the hard work done, and allow me to have a good starting spot for Sunday”.