GP2 »

Kobayashi fastest in Shanghai practice.


Kamui Kobayashi underlined his status as pre-season favourite for the second GP2 Asia campaign by topping the times in the one and only practice session for this weekend's opening round in China.

The Japanese ace set the pace in both the first 'winter' test for the regular GP2 Series and the two pre-season 'warm-up' days for the Asia Series, and continued his recent domination by lapping nearly half a second faster than anyone else at the Shanghai International Circuit in preparation for the opening double-header of season two.

Although qualifying will undoubtedly throw up its usual surprises, with just half an hour for the 26 drivers to post a competitive time, DAMS driver Kobayashi will enter the session as favourite for pole after setting a 1min 45.527secs benchmark for the series' first visit to China.

The second-year GP2 driver was 0.468secs clear of the equally experienced Roldan Rodriguez, having set his best time on only his third lap, the leading pair the only ones capable of breaking into the 1min 45secs bracket during the session.

Experience clearly told during the session, with Andreas Zuber and Javier Villa filling the next two spots and category 'veterans' Vitaly Petrov, Davide Valsecchi and Sakon Yamamoto all featuring in the top ten. Most impressive of the rookie, meanwhile, was new World Series by Renault champion Giedo van der Garde, who split the regulars in fifth spot, while Mika Maki and Hamad Al Farden both also made the top ten.

Despite running the all-new pairing of van der Garde and Al Fardan, GFH Team iSport was the only ones to have got both cars into the top ten as GP2 again proved to competitive. Only My Team Qi-Meritus Mahara, which competes solely in the Asia Series, had both cars towards the foot of the times, which were propped up by Fisichella Motorsport International's Kevin Nai Chia Chen. The local driver was nearly four seconds slower than Kobayashi, but had Carlos Iaconelli for company in the 1min 49s.

The session was red-flagged one minute before its scheduled end when Champ Car veteran Nelson Philippe stopped his ART entry at turn 13 following a minor technical problem. The Frenchman, who slips into the seat previously occupied by inaugural season champion Romain Grosjean, ended the session on 15th spot.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kamui Kobayashi - DAMS [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates in parc ferme after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates with champagne on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Photo: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International), Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) & Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) on the feature race podium at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates win with his father Jonathan at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014.(Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates victory at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Newly-crowned 2014 GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in Parc Ferme at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.