2012 Season Round 6 Preview – Valencia, Spain
It has been a month since the GP2 Series circus last took to the track, but the twenty-six GP2 cars are back in action this week in the streets of Valencia, Spain for the sixth Round of the 2012 season.
Last time we saw the GP2 drivers battling for glory, it was in the prestigious streets of Monte Carlo and two drivers added their names to the Hall of Fame of race winners: Johnny Cecotto dominated the rest of the field from Free Practice, qualifying and during the Feature Race, claiming his first GP2 win. The following day, Jolyon Palmer finally got rid of the black cat that kept crossing his path and snatched his maiden GP2 win in style. It was a weekend of firsts also for reigning Champions Barwa Addax and iSport who came back on top just in time before we hit the halfway mark in this season.
The sixth Round of the season will undoubtedly take place in scorching temperatures mirroring the heat that is on between the drivers fighting for this year’s GP2 crown. Series leader Davide Valsecchi has been quietly pocketing precious points on a regular basis, leaving Luiz Razia to play catch up. Both men will be looking at adding another win to their 2012 collection, but one driver who’s been consistently on the podium since Barcelona is Giedo van der Garde. The Dutchman will definitely be one to watch this weekend, along with Max Chilton and James Calado. The two young Brits have not failed to impress since the season started. Add to the list iSport’s duo of Marcus Ericsson and Palmer who will be looking at repeating their strong form from Monaco, plus Fabio Leimer and Esteban Gutiérrez – both men still chasing for their first win this season. The eighth season of the GP2 Series is once again unpredictable with strong talent in every corner.
For this weekend, Pirelli will be providing the teams three sets of Soft tyres (Primes) and one set of Super Soft tyres (Options) for each car. Once again, teams are allowed to use their four sets as they please through Free Practice to Sprint Race which will require careful strategy.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: “For Valencia, our tyre choice is quite a bold one, given the severity of the circuit. In terms of tyres, it’s certainly the toughest street circuit of the year and qualifying will be important as it’s so hard to overtake in Valencia. Temperatures are also going to be high, and the heavy traction demands mean that the rear tyres in particular will have a lot of work to do. Looking after the rears effectively, together with qualifying well, is probably going to be the key point to success this weekend. We’ve seen that GP2 has been extremely competitive so far, and with identical cars and tyres it is the driver that really makes a difference.”