Valsecchi clinches GP2 Asia title

Davide Valsecchi clinched the GP2 Asia title with three rounds to spare by charging to victory in the Bahrain feature race

Valsecchi clinches GP2 Asia title

The iSport driver lurked in third for most of the distance, before mounting another late surge to overcome Arden's Javier Villa and Meritus' Luca Filippi and claim his third victory in five rounds.

With Valsecchi's nearest rival and team-mate Oliver Turvey delayed in the pits and unable to score, the win gave Valsecchi an insurmountable points lead.

Filippi and Villa burst from the second row into the lead at the start, while polesitter Jules Bianchi (ART) immediately fell out of contention for victory for a very poor start.

Villa looked faster than Filippi in the opening laps, but with no way past on track, he dived in for an early stop.

The extra speed on fresh tyres paid dividends for Villa, and by the time the pitstops were complete he was in the lead ahead of Filippi and Valsecchi.

As has been the case throughout the championship, Valsecchi got quicker and quicker as the race progressed. An initial dive-bomb move on Filippi for second saw him skitter over the run-off at the Turn 10 hairpin, but he quickly regrouped and passed his countryman into Turn 1 with six laps to go.

He then caught Villa in just one lap and took the lead with a straightforward outbraking move - only to then run wide at Turn 10 later in the lap and hand first place back again.

It was only a brief respite for Villa though, as Valsecchi soon repassed him into the first corner and pulled away to secure victory.

Villa lost more pace as his tyres faded, allowing Filippi to drive around the outside of him and take second. DPR's Giacomo Ricci came within 0.2 seconds of depriving Villa of third too as they diced on the final lap.

Charles Pic took the second Arden car to fifth ahead of Coloni's returnee Alvaro Parente and Addax's Sergio Perez.

Adrian Zaugg got quicker throughout the race on his return with Trident, charging past Turvey and Bianchi in the closing stages to claim eighth and pole for race two. Turvey had lost several places in his pitstop with a wheelgun problem while Bianchi never got up to speed after dropping down the order at the start.

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi iSport 1h02m05.146s 2. Luca Filippi Meritus + 2.792s 3. Javier Villa Arden + 6.067s 4. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 6.238s 5. Charles Pic Arden + 13.026s 6. Alvaro Parente Coloni + 17.777s 7. Sergio Perez Addax + 23.948s 8. Adrian Zaugg Trident + 25.479s 9. Oliver Turvey iSport + 29.253s 10. Jules Bianchi ART + 33.238s 11. Daniele Zampieri Rapax + 34.509s 12. Yelmer Buurman Ocean + 39.513s 13. Sam Bird ART + 40.415s 14. Christian Vietoris DAMS + 41.750s 15. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS + 45.779s 16. Will Bratt Coloni + 46.803s 17. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Rapax + 48.577s 18. Max Chilton Addax + 1m05.086s 19. Jake Rosenzweig Super Nova + 1m06.211s 20. Fabio Leimer Ocean + 1m23.385s 21. Josef Kral Super Nova + 1m53.049s 22. Plamen Kralev Trident + 1 lap 23. Michael Herck DPR + 2 laps Retirements: Alexander Rossi Meritus 26 laps 
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Bianchi claims maiden GP2 pole
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