Valsecchi claims first win in two years
|By Edd Straw||Sunday, November 14th 2010, 10:43 GMT|
David Valescchi claimed his first GP2 main series victory for over two years in the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi.
The iSport driver made a good start from fourth on the grid, took the lead on the run out of the first corner and repulsed a mid-race challenge from Luiz Razia to win by just under a second.
The key to Valsecchi's win was the early seconds of the race, after Super Nova driver Josef Kral made a bad start from pole position. From fourth on the grid, Valsecchi went into Turn 1 just behind the DAMS car of Romain Grosjean and Razia, but the Brazilian to get out of shape at the exit of the corner and run off the track.
This left Valsecchi and Grosjean side by side on the run to Turn 2, only for Razia to rejoin aggressively and force the ex-Renault Formula 1 driver to lift.
Valsecchi quickly established a lead of just over a second, and despite Razia closing in to within striking distance during the middle laps, he was never under any serious threat.
Grosjean kept hold of third throughout the race but, despite briefly looking like making the battle for the lead a three-car affair, had to settle for a podium finish ahead of Dani Clos, who just missed out on overhauling Jules Bianchi for third in the standings.
Kral claimed fifth place after spending the first half of the race under pressure from the second iSport car of Oliver Turvey. But in the closing stages, Turvey's attention was on holding off charging ex-Red Bull junior Brendon Hartley, who just missed out on his first GP2 point. It was Turvey's 12th consecutive points finish.
Race one winner Sergio Perez failed to finish after an ill-judged attempt to pass Sam Bird for fifth on lap five. The Mexican, who will race for Sauber in F1 next year, lunged up the inside of the ART driver into Turn 8, launching Bird into the air and putting both out of the race. This also ended Bird's chances of taking third in the championship.
It was also a fraught race for champion Pastor Maldonado, who failed to score points for the sixth race in succession in 10th after starting 17th.
Virgin F1 hopeful Giedo van der Garde also had a difficult race, salvaging fastest lap after serving three drive-through penalties for a jump-start, failure to respect the track limits and then speeding in the pitlane.
Rapax clinched the team's championship thanks to Razia's result, beating Barwa Addax to the title.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi iSport 40m59.120s 2. Luiz Razia Rapax + 0.925s 3. Romain Grosjean DAMS + 5.107s 4. Dani Clos Racing Engineering + 5.597s 5. Josef Kral Super Nova + 17.853s 6. Oliver Turvey iSport + 21.516s 7. Brendon Hartley Coloni + 21.924s 8. Jules Bianchi ART + 22.567s 9. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS + 24.665s 10. Pastor Maldonado Rapax + 25.171s 11. Michael Herck DPR + 25.672s 12. Charles Pic Arden + 31.925s 13. Max Chilton Ocean + 35.481s 14. Ho-Pin Tung Racing Engineering + 36.654s 15. Fabrizio Crestani DPR + 37.828s 16. Fabio Leimer Ocean + 38.401s 17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden + 38.964s 18. James Jakes Coloni + 51.778s 19. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax + 1m16.380s Retirements: Marcus Ericsson Super Nova 18 laps Federico Leo Trident 10 laps Sam Bird ART 4 laps Sergio Perez Barwa Addax 4 laps Adrian Zaugg Trident 0 laps