GP2 Chandhok powers to Race 2 victory

Indian leads from lights to flag. Karun  Chandhok  has  claimed  his  first  win  of  the  season  in  race  two yesterday morning  at  the Hockenheimring after soaking up race long pressure from Andreas Zuber, who had Bruno Senna on his rear wing as the chequered flag dropped.

The Indian driver had to briefly relinquish the lead at the start: he made a strong start from pole but was unable to stop Lucas di Grassi's storming run around the outside and into the lead at turn one after the lights went out, but kept his head to hold off fellow front row starter Andy Soucek and Pastor Maldonado, while behind them Michael Herck had a slow start and tapped Luca Filippi into a big spin on the front straight: luckily both cars were out of the way quickly and there was nothing to delay the field when they came back around for the first time.

Meanwhile Zuber was on a charge: starting from eleventh he was up to sixth place by the end of the first lap, pushed past his teammate next time around and had the right line to take advantage when  Soucek  spun  at  the  hairpin  (removing  Giorgio  Pantano  in  the  process)  before  setting  a string of fastest laps to put himself on Chandhok's tail to commence what was to be a race long battle.

Chandhok  wasn't  hanging  around  either:  he  out  dragged  di  Grassi  along the long back straight before  cutting  back  underneath  and  into  the  lead  out  of  the  hairpin,  but  soon  had  a  bigger challenge  in  the  form  of  Zuber,  who  was  clearly  faster  but  just  could  not  find  a  way  to make a move stick. di Grassi was soon out of the fight: on lap seven Maldonado was unable to stop fast enough into the hairpin and ran straight into the back of the Brazilian, putting him out of the race on the spot.

All of which played into Senna's hands: after finally disposing of Alvaro Parente after a good fight he was on the trail of the frontrunners, but had lost so much time that it wasn't until the last five laps that he could get back up on terms with the pair, applying constant pressure to Zuber which meant he had to take one eye off the fight ahead and concentrate on his mirrors.

And  so  it  finished:  when  the  flag  dropped  the  order  was  Chandhok  Zuber  Senna  with  just  a second  covering  the  trio,  while  Grosjean  fought  his  way  through  the  pack  to  claim  fourth  place ahead  of  Javier  Villa  and  Alvaro  Parente,  with  Kamui  Kobayashi  taking  something  home  from another  difficult  weekend  after  claiming  the  fastest  lap  of  the  race.  But  with  everyone  crowding around  the  iSport  engineers  all  the  applause  was  saved  for  Chandhok,  who  drove  a  strong, mature race to take a long overdue win in the sprint race.


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