Kamui Kobayashi has secured the 2009 GP2 Asia Series championship title despite missing out on a podium finish in the opening race of the weekend in Bahrain.
The Toyota F1 test driver had secured pole position for the race thanks to a ten place grid penalty for DAMS team-mate Jerome D'Ambrosio but a poor start meant he was unable to challenge for victory. However, fourth place was good enough to see the Japanese ace lift the crown with one race still to run tomorrow [Sunday].
While Kobayashi made a poor start, the same couldn't be said for Piquet Sports pair Roldan Rodriguez and Diego Nunes, with Nunes taking the lead from his team-mate into turn one and remaining out front until the flag – a one-two result for the team lifting it to second in the teams' standings.
The pair were followed in the race by D'Ambrosio, who battled well through the field and posted the quickest lap to take third ahead of new champion Kobayashi. As well as Kobayashi lifting the drivers' crown, the result was also enough to give DAMS the teams' crown.
Giedo van der Garde was fifth ahead of Sakon Yamamoto, with Davide Rigon and Luiz Razia completing the top eight. Razia will start from pole thanks to the reversed grid tomorrow.
With Kobayashi now crowned champion, the fight for second place will take much of the focus in the final race of the year, with Rodriguez, Davide Valsecchi, D'Ambrosio and Vitaly Petrov all remaining in contention for the runner-up slot.