Tom Dillmann defended his pole position well off the start in Sakhir, holding back Marcus Ericsson initially and then Luiz Razia. Ericsson began strongly but soon fell back, while Razia held on after a strong start. Also starting strongly were Davide Valsecchi and Felipe Nasr for DAMS.
Dillmann pushed ahead to get a 6s gap at his peak. As the closing laps arrived, however, things began to change. The French driver had pushed too hard on his tyres, while Razia had plenty left. The Brazilian began to close on Dillmann, and by the final two laps he was right on top. Could the Rapax hold on?
Every corner Dillmann struggled to get on the power, but he held Razia’s Arden off. Across the line they were only two tenths apart. The Pirellis did their job fantastically, and it shows just how good the decision was to not put DRS in GP2. If Razia had been able to easily pass Dillmann then he would have deserved the victory, but Dillmann deserved his debut GP2 win for holding off his opponent in difficult circumstances.
Valsecchi finished third, after a battle with Rio Haryanto that had held him back. He was unable to become GP2’s first driver to win four races in a row, but still dominates the championship by about a win (24 points). Behind Valsecchi was Gutierrez, who had got ahead of the Italian at the start but will be happy with fourth after a tough weekend for Lotus. Nasr was fifth despite his penalty, Haryanto was sixth, Ericsson was seventh and Onidi had a good race to finish eighth.
Poleman Bacheta led as the lights went out, while a poor start from the second-place driver put him back behind David Zhu. In second was now 15-year-old Matheo Tuscher. who did well to prevent the Brit from getting more than a second in the lead. It was just too much for the overboost, but despite clear air Bacheta could not get away. In the closing laps, Tuscher began to get closer to his opponent but couldn’t quite manage it and was happy with second. It’s Bacheta’s third win in a row, and he leads the championship by nearly 40 points having taken a perfect 75 so far.
Kevin Mirocha had a lonely race in third, while Zhu was eventually overtaken and finished fifth. Zanella was sixth, while a spin for Marinescu left him fighting from the back to eventually taken tenth. There was also some great racing between a group of drivers from seventh to twelfth, with Fontana – who ran in tenth for a long while – eventually beating Zamparelli, Hurst and McKenzie to take seventh. Zamparelli finished eighth, Hurst ninth. After Marinescu was Auto GP’s Victor Guerin, and in twelfth was McKenzie who lost his tyres towards the end. An encouraging weekend for Sureshwaren was dampened when he finished 16th. There were no retirements.
Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello took wins today at Hockenheim in the Euroseries. In the European F3 Open at Portimao (like F2, supporting the International GT Open), the race win went to Mexican Juan Carlos Sistos. That was a fantastic race until Tatiana Calderon’s car set on fire while she was running in 10th. Perhaps remembering the F1 in Singapore 2010, she left her car on the main straight rather than in the pit lane. The safety car came out while her car was being recovered, and when it came in again a massive incident at turn one brought the safety car out again until the end of the race.
Will Power has taken pole for the Sao Paolo Indy Grand Prix. It’s worth a watch if you’re not too busy tomorrow, and hopefully the weather will be better than last year when the race had to be postponed to the Monday. However, the forecast from the BBC doesn’t look good!
A dramatic BTCC qualifying session saw Andrew Jordan take pole after Jason Plato sent his MG skidding over the barriers off the track. Plato was sitting in second and maintained that position despite not running after the red flag came in. In third was Frank Wrathall. Conditions were damp and not ideal, with many drivers skidding off, especially at the end of the second green flag session.