Mixed fortunes as Norfolk teams take on GP2 opener
Carleton Rode's Isport enjoyed a good start to the GP2 Main Series thanks to Sam Bird's double podium at the opening round in Turkey.
The 24-year-old Brit topped Norfolk's contingent in the Formula One feeder series with second in Saturday's feature race, before following it up with third in the following day's sprint event.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson finished ninth and eighth respectively, with Dams star Romain Grosjean and former Comtec man Stefano Coletti's Trident taking the race wins.
Hingham's Team Air Asia picked up an impressive sixth place from their Main Series debut thanks to Luiz Razia, although the sprint was a more disappointing affair as the Brazilian came home 18th, two places behind Italian team-mate Davide Valsecchi.
Team manager Phill Spencer said: 'It has definitely been a lesson learned. We started the Sunday morning very optimistic after a positive Saturday, but in the end the results are very disappointing.
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'Looking at the other teams' performances we must have done something wrong, so we need to rethink set-up and strategy, go from there and move on ready for round two in Barcelona.'
Fairuz Fauzy made up for a disappointing feature race with an excellent sprint result for Griston's Super Nova Racing, finishing fifth from 12th on the grid.
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Team principal David Sears added: 'Fairuz Fauzy produced the best drive so far in his GP2 career by managing his tyres over the whole race distance. In fact, if a safety car had not come out five laps from the end Fairuz would have actually finished on the podium, such was his speed advantage over the cars ahead of him.'
The second Main Series round is at Barcelona, on May 20-22.
• Results – Race one (feature, 32 laps): 1 R Grosjean (Dams), 2 S Bird (Isport), 3 J Bianchi (Lotus ART), 4 G Van der Garde (Barwa), 5 S Coletti (Trident), 6 L Razia (Team Air Asia); 9 M Ericsson (Isport); 12 F Fauzy (Super Nova); 16 D Valsecchi (Team Air Asia); 20 R Gonz�lez (Trident); 21 L Filippi (Super Nova).
• Race two (sprint, 23 laps): 1 S Coletti (Trident), 2 G Van der Garde (Barwa), 3 S Bird (Isport); 5 F Fauzy (Super Nova); 8 M Ericsson (Isport); 14 L Filippi (Super Nova); 16 D Valsecchi (Team Air Asia); 18 L Razia (Team Air Asia); 22 R Gonz�lez (Trident).
• Championship standings – drivers: 1 R Grosjean (Dams) 13 points, 2 S Bird (Isport) 13, 3 S Coletti (Trident) 10, 4 G Van der Garde (Barwa) 10; 7 L Razia (Team Air Asia) 3; 8 F Fauzy (Super Nova) 2; Teams: 1 Barwa 15, 2 Isport 13, 3 Dams 13, 4 Trident 10, 5 Lotus ART 6, 6 Team Air Asia 3, 7 Super Nova 2.