Having put in a sterling performance in Bahrain to cement the runners-up spot in GP2's Asia Series, Jerome d'Ambrosio was not about to give up on returning to the podium as the 'regular' season opened in Spain.

Starting from sixth on the grid in Saturday's feature, the Belgian made a blinding getaway, and was up into third after only a few hundred metres. From there, he drove a consistent race, controlling the gap to fourth-placed Luca Filippi, while a good pit-stop from the DAMS team enabled him to hold position and open the summer series with a podium finish.

"When the lights went out, I got a hell of a fright as the car just in front of me was very slow getting away," d'Ambrosio admitted, "However, I managed to avoid it and, in the confusion that followed, I was able to move up to third very quickly.

"The car was well balanced - I felt very much at ease and was able to keep up the pace right to the flag. Today's result is a reward for all the effort I've made over these past few months - and I'm not going to leave it at that!"

True to his word, d'Ambrosio made another near-perfect getaway in Sunday's sprint event, and was up into second spot - from sixth on the grid - by the first corner. Although he was later passed by race one winner Romain Grosjean, he was able to maintain his pace and finish third for the second time over the weekend.

"I managed to squeeze by on the outside in the first corner and gained several places, which determined the outcome of my race," he commented, "I had to look after the tyre wear so as not to have problems at the end, and this is what I did once I was firmly installed in third place.

"I'm satisfied with the weekend, as two rostrum finishes in two races is a good start. Now I just have to get up onto the highest step - and I hope it'll be in Monaco!"

d'Ambrosio's ten points put him into a tie for second place overall in the drivers' ratings, while DAMS is similarly placed after four point-scoring finishes in the two Barcelona races.

Asia Series champion Kamui Kobayashi was made to work for his first point of the 2009 campaign, coming from 22nd on the grid to claim eighth at the flag, but was handicapped by a problem at the start of race two, where a sluggish getaway from pole dropped him to fifth at the end of lap one. Unable to make up any ground in the shorter of the weekend's two events, he remained fifth to the flag.

"I really didn't think I'd score points in normal conditions, but we did it!" the Japanese ace said of his 14-place climb in race one, "It was difficult to keep the car on the track towards the end as my tyres were shot, but our gamble paid off.

"What started out as a bit of a nightmarish weekend turned in our favour, but I'm disappointed [with race two]. When you start from pole, your aim is to win the race. The result was decided for me when the lights went out, as I wasn't able to accelerate properly, maybe because my tyres were too cold. I lost several places in the long straight before the first corner and, because Barcelona is a circuit on which overtaking is very difficult, I was forced to stay in fifth place throughout the race.

"It's a bit frustrating, but I try to look on the bright side of things. I've scored points today and that's what I'll have to do in each round if I want to win the title this year."

"We're pretty satisfied with the first weekend," team manager Eric Boullier echoed, "Even if things haven't worked out according to plan, we've bagged a reasonable haul of points. Kamui and J?r?me both used their experience in the series to find the right balance between attack and restraint in the two races - proof of a reasoned, calm approach. Now, we have to work to close the small performance gap to the leading team."