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GP2 NEWS 

Davide Valsecchi completes superb double victory in Bahrain GP2 event

Davide Valsecchi wins at Sakhir 2012Davide Valsecchi came through from eighth on the grid to add a stunning GP2 sprint race victory in Bahrain to his Saturday feature win.

The DAMS driver charged up behind leader Esteban Gutierrez - who had only moved to the front when long-time leader Fabio Leimer was penalised - and grabbed first place at the start of the very last lap as Gutierrez struggled for tyre grip.

Valsecchi had not looked a likely winner until the closing stages, initially making quietly stealthy progress up the order as Lotus team-mates James Calado and Gutierrez fought for victory with Racing Engineering's Leimer.

Calado had jumped from fourth on the grid to lead at the start, ahead of Leimer and Gutierrez. The Sauber protege soon passed Leimer and then attacked team-mate Calado, who locked up heavily in defence at Turn 1 on lap three. The pair then made light contact exiting the corner, ripping a chunk of front wing from Gutierrez's car and allowing Leimer to get between them.

Then it was Leimer's turn to hit the front, passing Calado on lap five, with Gutierrez following him through. Leimer subsequently edged away and looked set for victory, only for the stewards to give the Racing Engineering man a drive-through penalty for failing to heed yellow flags, forcing him to relinquish the lead with six laps to go.

By that time, Valsecchi's charge was underway. Already up to third after passing Max Chilton (Carlin) and Calado in quick succession, Valsecchi moved into second following Leimer's penalty, and having conserved his tyres, the Italian was able to swiftly demolish Gutierrez's seemingly comfortable advantage - catching up at a second per lap.

Going into the final lap, Gutierrez firmly defended the inside going into Turn 1, but Valsecchi was able to cut across on the exit of the corner and grab the lead as Gutierrez slithered out of the turn, before inching away to take a superb win and increase his championship lead.

Calado held on for third, ahead of Valsecchi's title rival Luiz Razia (Arden) and Chilton.

Valsecchi's team-mate Felipe Nasr almost eclipsed the winner's heroics, as he surged through from a pitlane start to take an incredible sixth place. iSport's Jolyon Palmer mounted a comparable charge from the back row to seventh amid some epic midfield racing, ahead of Simon Trummer (Arden), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham), and Tom Dillmann - whose Rapax car should have started third but stalled before the formation lap.

Polesitter Fabio Onidi swiftly lost ground after a poor start and could only finish 14th for Coloni, while Leimer's penalty left him 12th.

Results - 22 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team                   Time/Gap
 1.  Davide Valsecchi     DAMS                 39m22.363s
 2.  Esteban Gutierrez    Lotus                  + 0.399s
 3.  James Calado         Lotus                 + 10.617s
 4.  Luiz Razia           Arden                 + 12.463s
 5.  Max Chilton          Carlin                + 13.573s
 6.  Felipe Nasr          DAMS                  + 15.414s
 7.  Jolyon Palmer        iSport                + 22.950s
 8.  Simon Trummer        Arden                 + 30.425s
 9.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham              + 31.976s
10.  Tom Dillmann         Rapax                 + 32.545s
11.  Dani Clos            Addax                 + 32.632s
12.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering    + 32.856s
13.  Ricardo Teixeira     Rapax                 + 36.275s
14.  Fabio Onidi          Coloni                + 36.477s
15.  Rio Haryanto         Carlin                + 39.988s
16.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport                + 40.386s
17.  Julian Leal          Trident               + 47.410s
18.  Nigel Melker         Ocean                 + 56.196s
19.  Fabrizio Crestani    Lazarus               + 59.488s
20.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Caterham            + 1m52.968s
21.  Giancarlo Serenelli  Lazarus             + 1m53.295s
22.  Johnny Cecotto       Addax                   + 1 lap
23.  Stefano Coletti      Coloni                 + 2 laps

Retirements:

     Nathanael Berthon    Racing Engineering      15 laps
     Brendon Hartley      Ocean                    2 laps
     Stephane Richelmi    Trident                  0 laps
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