Nunes leads a Piquet GP 1-2 podium finish as Kobayashi takes title

Nunes leads a Piquet GP 1-2 podium finish as Kobayashi takes title

25.04.2009: Dams’ Kamui Kobayashi clinched the GP2 Asia Series title in today’s feature race in Bahrain while Diego Nunes secured a second win ahead of his teammate Roldan Rodriguez.

Dams’ Kamui Kobayashi clinched the GP2 Asia Series title in today’s feature race in Bahrain while Diego Nunes secured a second win ahead of his teammate Roldan Rodriguez.

The Toyota Formula One test driver’s poor start from pole position today meant that he could not celebrate his GP2 Asia Series title on the podium, but the new champion managed to make his way back to the front of the field again thanks to an early pitstop. His closest rivals failing to score, Valsecchi most notably stalling on the grid, Kobayashi’s P4 finish was enough then to clinch the 2009 GP2 Asia Series crown.

While Kobayashi completely missed his take off at the start, both Piquet drivers managed a perfect launch, Nunes even better than Rodriguez and the Brazilian took the lead. The rest of the race looked pretty easy for the two men who never faltered and crossed the finish line in that same order, bagging eighteen points and putting their team in second place of the Championship, four points clear from Barwa International Campos Team.

Still, another man really shone today as Jérôme d’Ambrosio recovered from a ten place grid penalty to finish on the podium. Quickest yesterday in qualifications, the Belgian fought his way back from eleventh, overtaking first van der Garde, then Razia and finally his teammate for third place, all the while setting another fastest laptime. This strong result gives him an opportunity to finish in the Championship’s Top Three and also gave Dams the Teams’ title.

Behind the Top 4, iSport’s van der Garde finished fifth ahead of Sakon Yamamoto. The ART racer led for a couple of laps as he pitted later than the leaders. After that, the Japanese charged through the field and worked his way to sixth. And just like Yamamoto, Trident’s Davide Rigon also pitted late and benefited from fresh tyres to pass first Karun Chandhok and then Luiz Razia. The Brazilian from Arden hence will start from the reversed pole tomorrow.
With Kamui Kobayashi crowned champion, all eyes are now turned towards four men who can still claim Vice Champion: with 35 points Roldan Rodriguez passed Davide Valsecchi stuck at 34. The flying Jérôme d’Ambrosio stands fourth on 30 points and Vitaly Petrov is now fifth on 28.

- Bridgestone , also photos


25.04.2009 / MaP

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