Vietoris takes maiden GP2 victory

Christian Vietoris led from start to finish in the GP2 Asia sprint race in Abu Dhabi, but round one winner Davide Valsecchi starred with a charge from eighth to second ahead of Josef Kral

Vietoris takes maiden GP2 victory

DAMS driver Vietoris burst through from third to the lead at the start, with polesitter Oliver Turvey (iSport) elbowed back to fourth by Kral (Super Nova) and Alexander Rossi (Ocean) into the first corner, and Turvey's front row partner Johnny Cecotto falling to seventh behind yesterday's lead combatants Luca Filippi (Meritus) and Valsecchi.

The latter was the man on the move throughout the race. He got alongside Filippi several times early on, before drafting ahead on the long straight on lap 14.

Filippi braked ultra-late into the hairpin to try and retaliate, but just speared wide - and then spun down to eighth a few corners later while trying to fend off Cecotto. Valsecchi did not even lose momentum avoiding the wayward Meritus car, and drove around the outside of team-mate Turvey to take fourth before the lap was complete.

The safety car then gave Valsecchi a chance to catch up with the top three, the yellow being required after Will Bratt's Coloni machine had snapped into a high-speed spin at the end of the back straight and collected Fabio Leimer (Ocean) on its way to the barrier.

Vietoris and Kral had pulled comfortably clear of the field before the caution, with the DAMS driver edging away early on before Kral closed back onto his tail at half-distance. But the safety car cost them their cushion, for Valsecchi swiftly muscled past Rossi for third after the restart and then rapidly closed on Vietoris and Kral.

That gave Vietoris some breathing space, as Valsecchi climbed all over the back of Kral before diving ahead into Turn 11 on the last lap. There was no time left to catch Vietoris though, and the German duly ended his first GP2 weekend with victory.

Turvey put a late move on Rossi to take fourth, with Cecotto hanging on to sixth ahead of Vietoris' team-mate Edoardo Piscopo and the delayed Filippi.

Yesterday's third place man James Jakes was forced wide at the first corner and could only finish 10th, the Super Nova driver having spent most of the race trying in vain to pass DPR's Michael Herck.

Sam Bird set the fastest lap as he attempted to come through from the back following his race one retirement. Although he produced some spectacular overtaking moves, the ART driver also spun twice while trying to make up ground, and ended up at the tail of the field.

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Christian Vietoris DAMS 43m18.814s 2. Davide Valsecchi iSport + 2.447s 3. Josef Kral Super Nova + 3.195s 4. Oliver Turvey iSport + 6.616s 5. Alexander Rossi Ocean + 7.420s 6. Johnny Cecotto Trident + 7.711s 7. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS + 8.237s 8. Luca Filippi Meritus + 10.136s 9. Michael Herck DPR + 10.730s 10. James Jakes Super Nova + 11.643s 11. Luiz Razia Addax + 11.881s 12. Marcus Ericsson ART + 12.315s 13. Diego Nunes Meritus + 12.893s 14. Roldan Rodriguez Coloni + 13.303s 15. Charles Pic Arden + 13.777s 16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden + 14.431s 17. Max Chilton Addax + 19.485s 18. Sam Bird ART + 21.421s Retirements: Vlado Arabadjiev Piquet 17 laps Fabio Leimer Ocean 14 laps Will Bratt Coloni 14 laps Daniel Zampieri Piquet 5 laps Giacomo Ricci DPR 1 lap Plamen Kralev Trident 0 laps 
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Valsecchi wins GP2 Asia opener

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