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GP2 to race in Malaysia and Singapore in 2012

ESPNF1 Staff
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2012 will be the longest GP2 season yet © Sutton Images
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The 2012 GP2 race calendar has been announced, with rounds in Malaysia, Bahrain and Singapore making it the longest season in the series' history.

Twelve rounds will take place in 11 countries, with the category acting as a support race for Formula One at 11 of the 20 grands prix next season. It will be the first season since GP2 Asia and the main GP2 Series merged and will open in Malaysia in March and end in Singapore in late September.

The second round will be held in Bahrain as a support race for F1, with the teams staying on for a standalone event the weekend after. The series will then return to its European homeland, following the F1 calendar as it has done since 2005.

"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," GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel said. "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!"

Two pre-season tests have also been organised at Jerez from February 28 to March 1 and Barcelona from March 6 to March 8.

2012 GP2 Series Calendar

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- March 23-25
Sakhir, Bahrain -- April 20-22
Sakhir, Bahrain -- April 26-28
Barcelona, Spain -- May 11-13
Monte Carlo, Monaco -- May 24-26
Valencia, Spain -- June 22-24
Silverstone, Great Britain -- July 06-08
Hockenheim, Germany -- July 20-22
Budapest, Hungary -- July 27-29
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium -- August 31 - September 2
Monza, Italy -- September 7-9
Singapore, Singapore -- September 21-23

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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