The Ocean Racing Technology team was unable to score points as the GP2 Asia Series competed under lights for the first time at Losail, but was left to count its blessings after a huge accident for Dutchman Yelmer Buurman.
Buurman was left unsighted at the start of the feature race when Sakon Yamamoto stalled on the grid, with Buurman clipped the Japanese drivers car at full speed. His car briefly caught fire before rolling to a halt, but the damage sustained was enough to keep him out of the sprint race.
"Everything happened so fast,” he said. “The car was great at the start and I gained several positions. I did not see Yamamoto and the next thing I know I had a heavy crash without knowing what happened to me.
“The consequences could have been much worse. It is frustrating not to have been able to do a single lap in Qatar because I know we were competitive."
It was therefore left to team-mate Fabrizio Crestani to fly the flag for ORT in the two races, taking tenth place in the feature race and 21st in the sprint race after running into tyre wear issues.
"Crestani was the fastest driver on track for several laps [in the feature race] and it is encouraging for the team,” team boss Tiago Monteiro said. “This is not down to luck as he was improving his lap times all the time. The tyre problem? It's hard to explain but it has nothing to do with the driver and the team efforts.
“Above all, we have to be happy Yelmer was not hurt in the accident. It was a tough one and the TV pictures were scary. We will fix the car in order to be on top for the next race."