Van der Garde takes Barcelona GP2 victory
|Saturday, May 12th 2012, 15:06 GMT|
Giedo van der Garde used a bold tyre strategy to take his first win since joining the Caterham team in the GP2 feature race at Catalunya.
The Dutchman ran third behind battling leaders James Calado (Lotus) and Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) at first, and initially had to fend off charging Coloni driver Stefano Coletti.
But whereas most of the field changed all four tyres in their pitstops, Caterham opted to switch just two of van der Garde's, and the time saved - plus Calado and Leimer having emerged into traffic - allowed the Dutchman to jump to the front.
Van der Garde was able to hang on thereafter and win by just 0.8 seconds over poleman Calado. Leimer was given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pit release after a close call with Calado when they pitted in unison, dropping him to 12th, and allowing Coletti to join the lead fight for a while before having to settle for third.
Championship leader Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) was a lonely fourth, while Nathanael Berthon salvaged something for Racing Engineering in fifth, with Coloni's Stefano Coletti fending off Max Chilton (Carlin) and Luiz Razia (Arden) to complete the top six.
Ocean's Nigel Melker was on course for eighth and race two pole until being penalised for pitlane speeding.
Assertive drives from iSport man Jolyon Palmer and Lotus's Esteban Gutierrez earned them the final points.
Results - 37 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1h00m22.966s 2. James Calado Lotus + 0.878s 3. Stefano Coletti Coloni + 3.811s 4. Davide Valsecchi DAMS + 11.859s 5. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering + 15.795s 6. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 19.379s 7. Max Chilton Carlin + 19.768s 8. Luiz Razia Arden + 20.072s 9. Jolyon Palmer iSport + 27.624s 10. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus + 36.653s 11. Felipe Nasr DAMS + 45.264s 12. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 46.534s 13. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 47.087s 14. Nigel Melker Ocean + 47.356s 15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 53.555s 16. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 1m00.879s 17. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 1m06.737s 18. Johnny Cecotto Addax + 1m11.199s 19. Victor Guerin Ocean + 1m11.397s 20. Josef Kral Addax + 1m14.871s 21. Stephane Richelmi Trident + 1m15.821s 22. Tom Dillmann Rapax + 1m20.031s 23. Simon Trummer Arden + 1m20.382s 24. Julian Leal Trident + 1m28.989s 25. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 1 lap Retirements: Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 8 laps