In the dry heat of Bahrain, Diego Nunes and Roldan Rodriguez posted the exact same laptime in a 1:44.290, leading the way in the last round of the 08-09 GP2 Asia Championship
The final round of the 08-09 GP2 Asia Series season opened this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit where a new champion will be crowned. With 36°C in the air and a track temperature of 47°C, the conditions were tough on the drivers.
In a trouble-free practice, both Piquet GP cars set the exact fastest laptime, although Rodriguez was stationed in the pitlane for almost half of the session while his team were trying to fix an ignition problem on his engine. Once repaired, the Spaniard went back on track and in a matter of two laps rejoined his Brazilian teammate at the top of the timing sheet.
Behind the solid duo, but five tenth away, Luiz Razia emerged in third place at the wheel of his Arden car, ahead of Qi-Meritus’ Alvaro Parente.
Title contender Davide Valsecchi signed the fifth best laptime and barely edged Championship leader and rival Kamui Kobayashi at Dams. Edoardo Mortara on the second Arden car, Dams’ Jérôme d’Ambrosio, James Jakes at Super Nova and Marco Bonanomi on the second Qi-Meritus car round up the Top 10. Title contender Vitaly Petrov could only complete two laps before stopping following an electrical problem on his Barwa machine.
Towards the end of the session, with less than a minute on the clock, Diego Nunes was sent back out on track, failing to see the red light indicating that the pitlane was closed. The qualifying session will start at 16.00pm today, local time.
Bahrain – Free Practice Driver Team Time Laps 1. Diego Nunes Piquet GP 1:44.290 13 2. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet GP 1:44.290 12 3. Luiz Razia Arden Int. Motorsport 1:44.768 11 4. Alvaro Parente My Qi-Meritus.Mahara 1:44.805 13 5. Davide Valsecchi Durango 1:44.827 14 6. Kamui Kobayashi Dams 1:44.881 14 7. Edoardo Mortara Arden Int. Motorsport 1:44.943 13 8. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams 1:45.012 13 9. James Jakes Super Nova Racing 1:45.181 13 10. Marco Bonanomi My Qi-Meritus.Mahara 1:45.227 14 11. Giedo van der Garde GFH Team iSport 1:45.338 14 12. Michael Herck DPR 1:45.382 14 13. Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix 1:45.553 12 14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 1:45.567 14 15. Sergio Perez Barwa Int. Campos Team 1:45.594 12 16. Javier Villa Super Nova Racing 1:45.628 14 17. Davide Rigon Trident Racing 1:45.871 14 18. Hamad Al Fardan GFH Team iSport 1:45.891 15 19. Pastor Maldonado ART Grand Prix 1:45.941 13 20 Fabrizio Crestani Ocean Racing Technology 1:46.351 12 21. Karun Chandhok Ocean Racing Technology 1:46.756 12 22. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1:46.886 13 23. Ricardo Teixeira Trident Racing 1:47.730 14 24. Kevin Nai Chia Chen Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 1:48.392 15 25. Michael Dalle Stelle Durango 1:50.378 12 26 Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team 2:02.117 2