The GP2 Series organisers have revealed their 2012 calendar today which will consist of twelve rounds in total. Eleven of them will be support events of the official Formula One World Championship whilst one round will be a standalone event. Two new venues have been added to the otherwise familiar circuits: Sepang and Singapore.
The Series will see its eighth season open for the first time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 23rd. Although the GP2 Asia Series raced in Sepang in 2008 and 2009, it is a new venue to the GP2 Series calendar and it will be the first time the GP2/11 cars have raced on this demanding track. The thirteen GP2 teams will then fly to Bahrain for back-to-back rounds in Sakhir, the first one as support event to F1 on April 20-22 followed by the only standalone event of the season on April 26-28.
The month of May will mark the return of the Series to Europe, starting with Barcelona on May 11-13 and Monaco two weeks later. After a short break, the action will resume in the streets of Valencia, Spain on June 22-24. The month of July will once again be extremely busy with three events – Silverstone, Hockenheim and Budapest.
After the summer breather, the Series will return to Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on August 31st followed a week later by the Italian round in Monza. Finally, the 2012 season will be concluded two weeks later in Singapore at one of F1’s most magnificent venues, marking the GP2 Series first visit to the Asian city.
GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented: “GP2 being the natural and logical path to Formula One, it is imperative that our calendar carries as many F1 tracks as possible including tracks outside Europe which is why we added Bahrain, Sepang and Singapore this season. However, the Series has also to remain affordable, therefore we did not want to add more overseas circuits.
“Racing on eleven F1 tracks in 2012 with a car close to F1 in performance and using the same tyres, GP2 drivers will gain as much experience as possible which will enable them to be immediately competitive in the next category as previously demonstrated by all our graduates. We have also made sure that we remain affordable by working together with our partners in order to keep down freight and spare parts costs.
“I am glad that we will be going back to Kuala Lumpur: we’ve seen during the Asia Series some very exciting races there. It is a splendid venue to open a new chapter of our Series which includes new sporting regulations. We’ve always raced in Bahrain since the inception of our Series – Nico Rosberg won both races in 2005. We will close our season in Singapore. It will be the first time ever that our Series goes there. It is very exciting!”
In addition to these twelve rounds, two pre-season test sessions will be organised first at Jerez de la Frontera on 28-29 February and 01 March, followed by Barcelona on 06-07-08 March.
2012 GP2 Series Calendar
28-29 Feb- 01 March // Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
6-7-8 March // Barcelona, Spain
23-25 March // Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
20-22 April // Sakhir, Bahrain
26-28 April // Sakhir, Bahrain
11-13 May // Barcelona, Spain
24-26 May // Monte Carlo, Monaco
22-24 June // Valencia, Spain
06-08 July // Silverstone, Great-Britain
20-22 July // Hockenheim, Germany
27-29 July // Budapest, Hungary
31 Aug – 02 September // Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
07-09 September // Monza, Italy
21-23 September // Singapore, Singapore