GP2 Asia: rain stops play after feature race

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSunday, December 7th, 2008

 
 

The weekend’s GP2 Asia racing in Dubai was cut short after a flooded track meant that running the sprint event was out of the question.

Torrential rain ended an entertaining tussle between DAMS’ Kamui Kobayashi, Piquet’s Roldán Rodríguez and Durango’s Davide Valsecci to secure (or consolidate) the championship lead.

In qualifying Kobayashi beat off a challenge from ART’s Sakon Yamamoto to take pole in the feature race. Britain’s James Jakes, driving for Super Nova, was 15th – one place behind team-mate Javier Villa.

Kobayashi went on to translate his pole into a feature race victory, despite losing the lead after a late pitstop to Campos’ Vitaly Petrov and later being passed by Rodríguez.

A fierce fight for points saw Valsecchi blast from fifth to second, bringing fourth-placed Rodríguez along for the ride.

However, Yamamoto fought back and retook the lead through sensational overtaking moves on Rodríguez and Petrov, struggling with degradation on his left front tyre that eventually saw him drop to fifth.

Despite a good deal of pushing and shoving for position Kobayashi managed to retake his lead with Valsecci securing second, Rodríguez third, iSport’s Giedo van der Garde fourth and Petrov fifth.

Yamamoto was eighth and therefore due to take pole in the next day’s sprint race. Jakes finished in 12th place with the fastest lap going to Kobayashi at 1:43.079 – worth a bonus point.

But the sprint race never happened, due to overnight storms and excessive flooding at the Dubai Autodrome. Pictures here.

Following a track inspection the race directors decided that the volume of water on the track and the slim chance of matters improving made it impossible to run any races safely.

The race organisers said: “The GP2 Series Organisation will decide on a later date how this cancellation will affect the Championship in the near future.” The next race is due to be held at the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain from January 23.

After Dubai the standings are as follows (points-scoring drivers only are listed):

  1. Kamui Kobayashi, DAMS: 22 points
  2. Roldán Rodríguez, Piquet Sports: 19 points
  3. Davide Valsecchi, Durango: 15 points
  4. Javier Villa, Super Nova: 10 points
  5. Earl Bamber, Qi-Meritus Mahara: 8 10 points
  6. Vitaly Petrov, Campos: 8 points
  7. Sakon Yamamoto, ART: 7 points
  8. Chris van der Drift, Trident: 5 points
  9. Giedo van der Garde, iSport: 5 points
  10. Jérôme d’Ambrosio, DAMS: 4 points
  11. Sergio Pérez, Campos: 3 points

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