Singapore GP2: Sam Bird dominates to set up title showdown
|By Charles Bradley||Sunday, September 22nd 2013, 09:08 GMT|
Sam Bird closed the gap to GP2 Series leader Fabio Leimer by winning the Singapore sprint race for the Russian Time team.
Starting on reversed-grid pole after a troubled race on Saturday, Bird made a fine start and was never challenged at the head of the field.
The only aspect he failed to achieve, however, was the two extra points for fastest lap, but fortunately for him Leimer also failed in his efforts to get it.
It was Bird's fifth win of the season, and he closes to within seven points of Leimer.
Marcus Ericsson finished second for DAMS, ahead of Leimer (Racing Engineering) and Stephane Richelmi in the second DAMS machine.
A bizarre incident then befell Leimer on the slowing down lap, when he slammed into Alexander Rossi's Caterham car.
Rossi was making the sharp-left turn off the track to enter the support-race paddock, as Leimer was cruising to complete the lap to the podium. Leimer appeared to have injured his left wrist slightly.
Jon Lancaster rose from ninth to fifth, but was mainly a beneficiary of drivers ahead of him struggling on used rubber or the super-soft option tyre, which could not last anywhere near the 20-lap race stint required.
That included Saturday's race-winner Jolyon Palmer, who finished 17th after a pitstop.
It promoted unlikely points finishers Johnny Cecotto Jr, Daniel de Jong and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who all started from well down the grid.
Results - 20 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sam Bird Russian Time 40m36.444s 2. Marcus Ericsson DAMS +5.787s 3. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering +7.745s 4. Stephane Richelmi DAMS +9.311s 5. Jon Lancaster Hilmer +17.885s 6. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden +34.140s 7. Daniel de Jong MP +56.282s 8. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer +57.159s 9. Rene Binder Lazarus +1m07.397s 10. Nathanael Berthon Trident +1m07.997s 11. Rio Haryanto Addax +1m08.302s 12. Julian Leal Racing Engineering +1m09.052s 13. Simon Trummer Rapax +1m09.248s 14. Tom Dillmann Russian Time +1m11.366s 15. Mitch Evans Arden +1m15.458s 16. Felipe Nasr Carlin +1m15.990s 17. Jolyon Palmer Carlin +1m16.415s 18. Jake Rosenzweig Addax +1m22.004s 19. James Calado ART +1m28.898s 20. Vittorio Ghirelli Lazarus +1m37.714s 21. Dani Clos MP +1m49.482s 22. Gianmarco Raimondo Trident +2m02.960s 23. Alexander Rossi Caterham +1 lap 24. Stefano Coletti Rapax +1 lap Retirements: Daniel Abt ART 9 laps Sergio Canamasas Caterham 2 laps