Giacomo Ricci took DPR's first GP2 victory since the 2005 season as he led from start to finish in the Asia series finale at Sakhir.
After several years at the back of the grid, DPR has shown increasingly strong form during this winter's Asia campaign, with Ricci and teammate Michael Herck leading for much of the second Abu Dhabi sprint race last month until being denied victory by eventual champion Davide Valsecchi's late charge.
Ricci made up for that disappointment in Bahrain this morning – bursting through from fourth on the grid at the start and then pulling away from the field to take a comfortable victory with a 5.3-second cushion.
In a relatively static race, ART's Sam Bird and Coloni's Alvaro Parente settled into second and third by the first corner and remained there for the rest of the race, giving Bird his first GP2 podium, and Parente his best result since returning to the series.
All of the action in the race happened behind the top three, with Valsecchi (iSport), Meritus pair Alexander Rossi and Luca Filippi and Arden duo Charles Pic and Javier Villa having a spectacular battle in the opening laps.
Villa had been handed first on the grid when poleman Edoardo Piscopo's DAMS car shed its right rear wheel on the way to the grid, but the Spaniard was unable to capitalize on his good fortune as a poor start dropped him straight back to eighth.
Valsecchi emerged in fourth despite minor contact with Pic, and then held on to the place despite ferocious pressure from the hard-charging Rossi, whose late efforts to take the place saw him skitter over the run-off at the first complex but remain fifth. Villa took sixth but teammate Pic – who at one point passed both Villa and Filippi in a single dive into Turn 1 – dropped back when he pitted with a suspected tire problem.
Filippi struggled for pace as the race progressed, particularly under braking, and eventually lost seventh to Ocean's Yelmer Buurman at the final corner.
Oliver Turvey had another frustrating race in the second iSport car, losing several places on the first lap when he bounced over the kerbs trying to pass Buurman. Jules Bianchi's tough start to his GP2 career with ART also continued – the Formula 3 Euro Series champion had to pit for repairs at the end of the opening lap.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Giacomo Ricci DPR 43m47.744s
2. Sam Bird ART + 5.369s
3. Alvaro Parente Coloni + 9.585s
4. Davide Valsecchi iSport + 15.695s
5. Alexander Rossi Meritus + 16.559s
6. Javier Villa Arden + 23.280s
7. Yelmer Buurman Ocean + 25.403s
8. Luca Filippi Meritus + 25.949s
9. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Rapax + 29.077s
10. Josef Kral Super Nova + 30.780s
11. Oliver Turvey iSport + 32.196s
12. Dani Clos Trident + 35.035s
13. Luiz Razia Rapax + 38.628s
14. Christian Vietoris DAMS + 45.567s
15. Max Chilton Addax + 47.373s
16. Will Bratt Coloni + 51.821s
17. Jake Rosenzweig Super Nova + 53.057s
18. Plamen Kralev Trident + 1m12.250s
19. Charles Pic Arden + 1m44.114s
Jules Bianchi ART 17 laps
Rodolfo Gonzalez Addax 16 laps
Michael Herck DPR 16 laps
Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 0 laps
Fabio Leimer Ocean 0 laps