Filippi gives Meritus first GP2 victory

Luca Filippi gave the Meritus team its first GP2 victory with a flawless performance in the Asia series feature race at Sakhir

Filippi gives Meritus first GP2 victory

Meritus and Filippi had won a GP2 Asia race together on the road in the inaugural championship's Sentul event two years ago, but were later disqualified because incorrect tyres had been fitted.

This time Filippi held the lead from pole position, and resisted race-long pressure from series champion Davide Valsecchi.

The pair pitted on the same lap, but Meritus kept its driver ahead of Valsecchi, and Filippi was able to inch away from his rival thereafter.

Even a late safety car - caused by eighth-placed Christian Vietoris (DAMS) getting tangled up with backmarker Plamen Kralev's Trident car - could not disrupt Filippi's progress.

Charles Pic ran in third throughout for Arden. Having made a slightly earlier pitstop, the Frenchman got alongside Valsecchi as the champion rejoined following his tyre change, but was unable to make a move stick.

Alvaro Parente took fourth for Coloni, with DPR's Giacomo Ricci sweeping through into fifth when Jules Bianchi (ART) and Javier Villa (Arden) banged wheels at Turn 4 following the restart. Bianchi's team-mate Sam Bird also capitalised on the incident and grabbed sixth, while Bianchi made further contact with Meritus' Alexander Rossi as he tried to regain momentum and dropped back to 10th.

Edoardo Piscopo will start from pole for DAMS tomorrow having taken eighth today - just ahead of iSport's Oliver Turvey, who recovered well after stalling at the start.

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Luca Filippi Meritus 1h06m15.383s 2. Davide Valsecchi iSport + 2.058s 3. Charles Pic Arden + 3.990s 4. Alvaro Parente Coloni + 6.863s 5. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 8.085s 6. Sam Bird ART + 14.845s 7. Javier Villa Arden + 15.305s 8. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS + 15.503s 9. Oliver Turvey iSport + 15.684s 10. Jules Bianchi ART + 18.498s 11. Alexander Rossi Meritus + 22.028s 12. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Rapax + 22.260s 13. Yelmer Buurman Ocean + 26.137s 14. Dani Clos Trident + 26.749s 15. Will Bratt Coloni + 28.031s 16. Josef Kral Super Nova + 30.208s 17. Jake Rosenzweig Super Nova + 31.799s 18. Michael Herck DPR + 48.097s 19. Max Chilton Addax + 1 lap Retirement: Christian Vietoris DAMS 21 laps Plamen Kralev Trident 20 laps Rodolfo Gonzalez Addax 15 laps Luiz Razia Rapax 1 laps Fabio Leimer Ocean 0 laps 
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Filippi snatches late Sakhir pole
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