DPR's Giacomo Ricci took the final race win of the 2009 /2010 GP2 Asia Series and with it third place in the overall Championship. Ricci's win was the first for the British based team since the 2005 season.
Ricci, who started the race in 4th place after the reverse grid from the result of yesterday's race, took the lead into the first corner and wasn't challenged on his way to the final win of the series, and his first win of the season. Behind, Sam Bird rounded off his maiden GP2 Asia campaign with his first podium finish while Scuderia Coloni's Alvaro Parente completed the podium. “I think we had a good weekend in general, getting p4 and then p3 is always good. Just one part of the track was costing us some time, but we have all the information we need to improve! And I'd like to say thanks to everybody for the good job” was the reaction of Parente after his podium finish.
The top 3 finishers were all decided at the first corner, so the main excitement was for the positions behind the podium finishers – series Champion Davide Valsecchi climbed from 7th place to 4th place, while being challenged by Alexander Rossi – who managed to pass Valsecchi but lost the place the following corner.
Behind Valsecchi, the battle for runners up in the Teams Championship between Arden International and Meritus, as well as DPR, and the battle saw all 4 of the teams drivers together during the early stages of the race, Rossi passed his slower team mate Filippi, while Villa and busy attacking Filippi and having to defend from Pic.
Pic, however, soon got passed both Villa and Filippi with a bold move into turn 2; however the charge was short lived as a puncture on lap 9 forced Pic out the points.
As Ricci crossed the line to secure his first win of the season, the Ocean Racing Technology car of Yelmer Buurman passed Filippi, and this moment meant that Ricci and Filippi were both on 29 points and a single point would secure 2nd overall. However, with Sam Bird taking his maiden podium finish, took the bonus point for Fastest Lap, thus leaving Ricci and Filippi joint second.
Speaking after the race, Ricci commented on his race performance: “Unbelievable day for me and my DPR. We did a really good job. My car was really fast and I made a very good start. I was first after the first corner. And then I pushed really hard to make a little gap with Sam Bird. I slowed down a bit in the middle part of the race and then I pushed hard again for the end. I extended my lead, enough to be safe for the end of the race.” Before adding “Honestly, I don't know what change we've made on the car. I think the real important change is the team in general. It's completely different now. Our owner made some decisions and here are the results. Everybody work really hard on both cars and that's really good. Let's hope we can keep the momentum for the European season!”
For Bird, and his first GP2 podium, his reaction was: “First of all, it's great to get my first podium. I'd like to thank the team for a good job this weekend. I thought I had the ultimate speed. However, I used the tyres a bit too quickly. It's a shame I couldn't go for the win. I would have liked to, but a first podium is good. Now we are looking forward to Europe.” And then went on to add: “I've been there all along. It's just that I've had some slight drama along the way. In the second round, I got crashed into the first corner at the first race and in the sprint race the clutch went. Two weeks ago, the car was really difficult in the first race. I was 8th most of the time and then I dropped off. In the second race, I came fourth. I've been there all the time, but a couple of drama stopped me from performing a bit better. Had they not had happened; I would have finished higher in the standings. But I think it's good to make mistakes now and learn from them before the European Series”
After the 8 round series, the final top 3 drivers are:
- Davide Valsecchi – 56 points
- Luca Filippi – 29 points
=2. Giacomo Ricci – 29 points
In the teams Championship:
- iSport International – 73 points
- Arden International – 37 points
- DPR – 36 points