Romain Grosjean marked himself out as a man to watch, not only in the inaugural GP2 Asia Series, but also in the regular summer campaign after claiming his second win of the Dubai weekend - from eighth on the grid.
The Frenchman made a strong start from the outside of row four to gain a handful of places into turn one, and benefited from the early retirements of both Adrian Valles and Luca Filippi, but appeared destined for third place until Harald Schlegelmilch intervened. Returning from the pits after replacing a nose section, the Latvian inadvertently hindered Hiroki Yoshimoto, giving Grosjean the opportunity he needed to pass the otherwise stubborn Japanese driver.
Once free from following the QI-Meritus Mahara car, Grosjean was able to close quickly on race leader Fairuz Fauzy, and needed only a handful more laps before the Malaysian made enough of an error to present an opening. As he had on Friday, Grosjean was not about to waste the chance to lead, and pulled away from the pack over the remaining laps to claim a rare win double, and on his debut weekend to boot.
The minor error aside, Fauzy did little wrong on his second race back in the category, making the most of the pole position he inherited after Sebastien Buemi's overnight exclusion from race one to lead the charge to turn one. A little defensive into the corner, Fauzy allowed Valles to take a short-lived lead but, when the Spaniard speared off a couple of turns later, retook the advantage and held it through until lap 15 of 28.
Admittedly, the Super Nova driver was helped by having a safety car intervention to remove the cars of Valles and Buemi, the latter not making it past turn one after starting from the very back of the field, but held his nerve to control the pack over the eight laps that separated the restart and Grosjean's decisive move. With enough of a cushion over Yoshimoto after dropping back into second, Fauzy was not troubled as he took his best result at this level, aided by Yoshimoto dropping into the clutches of Karun Chandhok.
Despite starting from the front row, Chandhok again made a poor getaway and dropped to fourth by the end of lap one, with Filippi up into second between Fauzy and Yoshimoto. Many people's pre-race favourite, Filippi was destined not to get past lap four, however, as gearbox trouble hobbled his QI-Meritus machine while running behind the safety car. Despite a concerted effort to reset the system, the Italian was out, his points tally taking a double blow in light of Grosjean's weekend dominance.
The Frenchman's closest rivals from Friday's feature both failed to make a mark on day two, although Andy Soucek at least looked likely to score before a late race spin while challenging Yoshimoto for fourth. The moment dropped the rapid Spaniard back to seventh, too far adrift of sixth to make a move in the closing stages. Bruno Senna, meanwhile, never recovered from a dreadful start that dropped him out of the top ten. A late pit-stop to check a problem at the rear of his iSport machine only compounded his eventual finishing position.
Filling the gap left by Soucek's rotation, Durango duo Alberto Valerio and Davide Valsecchi opened their accounts after steady drives, the Italian coming from the inside of row nine without the aid of mandatory pit-stops. He was helped, however, by a higher retirement rate than seen in race one, and numerous on-track incidents that spread the field.
Buemi was the first to go, spinning into retirement at turn one, while Valles marooned car also caused the marshals headaches as they attempted to clear the expansive run-off areas and allow racing to resume. Marcello Puglisi was another opening lap rotator, while Adam Khan, having started from pit-lane, quickly returned for attention to a puncture at the rear of his Arden entry.
FMSI's Michael Herck suffered a similar problem, denting the team's hopes on the same lap as Valles retired, while Grosjean's ART team-mate Stephen Jelley again sunk like a stone after running as high as eighth. The Briton provided an unlikely obstacle for Senna, who almost ran into the back of the ART machine while engaged in a heated debate with Marco Bonanomi - who would later been taken out of the action by Schlegelmilch, damage to the Latvian's car leading to the race's defining moment at the front of the field.