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DAMS dominate in Bahrain.

Kamui Kobayashi has extended his lead at the top of the GP2 Asia standings after leading a resounding 1-2 result for DAMS in Bahrain.

The Japanese driver overcame an early challenge from pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg for a dominant victory over team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio, who in turn recovered from a poor start to secure DAMS' first 1-2 result in GP2 history. Edoardo Mortara rounded out the podium on his first GP2 outing.

Having snatched all of the headlines with his fine pole position lap in qualifying, debutant Hulkenberg didn't let the pressure get to him as the lights went green, the ART driver squeezing into the tight first turn right-hander with the lead firmly intact.

By contrast, front row sitter d'Ambrosio didn't get away so well and found himself down to fourth behind Kobayashi and Mortara after they swamped him in the short blast down to the opening bend.

The start wasn't without drama though as Sakon Yamamoto and returnee Marco Bonanomi both stalled, prompting some rather dramatic avoidance by Sergio Perez positioned directly behind them on the grid.

At the front, Hulkenberg quickly attempted to shake the attentions of Kobayashi, but while he was matching the German driver turn for turn, fellow newcomer Mortara was finding things somewhat tougher in third as he dropped away from the leaders and fought the advances of d'Ambrosio, Roldan Rodriguez, Javier Villa and Giedo van der Garde.

Further back, Ocean Racing Technology's second race came to a very premature end when Fabrizio Crestani got caught up in the mid-field shuffle with a spin at turn three, while Yelmer Buurman was also a first lap retiree.

There had also been problems for Kevin Nai Chia Chen, who had stalled at the start and only got going in time to have the field begin lapping him on lap four. Indeed, he would play a part in d'Ambrosio's move on Mortara, the Italian getting a slipstream from the FMSI car down the home straight, only for his rival to surge up the inside having benefitted from the tow of both cars.

Caught at an awkward angle at which to pass on the first turn, contact was inevitable, with d'Ambrosio clipping Mortara's right-rear wheel and tipping him slightly wide. Recovering in time for the second part of the turn, the Belgian swept through into third place, Mortara holding onto fourth and Villa moving up to fifth when Rodriguez was briefly flung skywards by an errant kerb and sent sliding across the sand. The Spaniard recovered in time to retain sixth.

by Ollie Barstow


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kamui Kobayashi - DAMS [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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