GP2 Maldonado last lap victory

in race two

Venezuelan pips d'Ambrosio for win

Pastor Maldonado outdragged local hero Jérôme d'Ambrosio on the long top straight on the last lap  of  this  morning's  race  two  at  the  Spa-Francorchamps  circuit  to  claim  victory  after  a  superb race for both men in changeable weather conditions, with Vitaly Petrov just holding on to fill the final  podium  position. 

D'Ambrosio  looked  to  have  done  enough  to  take  his  home  win  but Maldonado's came out on top after blasting by a string of drivers to move up from P6 on the grid to first as the chequered flag dropped. Once again the rain came with the drivers sitting on the grid, but after a few anxious moments the entire field decided to risk taking the start on slicks as the rain let up.

Polesitter d'Ambrosio made a conservative start but did just enough to hold on to the lead into La Source while fellow front row man Mike Conway was very slow, allowing much of the grid through led by Andy Soucek and Sébastien Buemi. Further  back  Luca  Filippi  and  Lucas  di  Grassi  made  incredible  starts  from  19th  and  20th respectively,  finishing  the  first  lap  either  side  of  championship  challenger  Bruno  Senna  in  10th and  12th  places  and  looking  hungry  for  more. 

The  trio  were  running  like  a  train  through  their rivals, all the while swapping positions as they went, while up ahead Maldonado easily dispatched Buemi and Vitaly Petrov to put himself on the back of Soucek when impacts with the wall on lap 5 by  Conway,  Alberto  Valerio  and  Alvaro  Parente  brought  out  the  safety  car  to  calm  everyone down.

Unfortunately it failed to have the desired effect: with the race about to go live once again the grid contracted  and  Filippi  went  wide  to  avoid  Senna  at  the  bus  stop,  with  di  Grassi  and  Kamui Kobayashi sneaking past on the inside before the line but Diego Nunes completely caught out by the  others  and  clattering  into  the  Italian  at  the  final  corner.  D'Ambrosio  had  the  restart  under control but yesterday’s race winner Romain Grosjean looked to take advantage of a slow Buemi restart with the old rivals running side by side until the Frenchman touched the kerb and wobbled: Senna had a look on his outside but locked up at the end of Blanchimont and spun, forcing the Brazilian into the pits and retirement. Maldonado  and  Soucek  were  having  an  almighty  battle  for  second,  banging wheels but leaving just  enough  space  for  each  other  all  the  way  round  the  track. 

With  2  laps  remaining  the  rain returned  slightly,  and  when  Soucek  touched  the  white  line  and  was  thrown  off  track  it  was  a miserable end to a spectacular drive but left the path open for the move on d'Ambrosio and the win, with Petrov absorbing extreme pressure from Buemi late in the race to hold on for third. Di Grassi kept his head to hold on for fifth place, some small reward for yesterday's disappointments and  which  also  handed  Campos  the  lead  in  the  team's  championship,  while  Kobayashi  pipped Davide Valsecchi for the final point after the Italian made a spectacular return after his enormous accident of yesterday.

With the driver's championship unchanged at the top Giorgio Pantano leads Senna by 11 points going into the final round at his home circuit of Monza, a happy hunting ground over the years for the Italian, while Grosjean and di Grassi are all square seven points behind Senna on 53 points. With   four   drivers   mathematically   in   contention,   and   GP2's   reputation   for   throwing   up   the unexpected, the Italian round of the championship promises to be unmissable. Spa-Francorchamps –

 Race 2  - Driver - Team

1. Pastor Maldonado Piquet Sports

2. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams 3.

Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team

4. Sébastien Buemi Trust Team Arden

 5. Lucas di Grassi Barwa Int. Campos Team

6. Kamui Kobayashi Dams

7 Davide Valsecchi Durango

8. Karun Chandhok iSport International

9. Javier Villa Racing Engineering

10. Romain Grosjean ART Grand Prix

11. Ho-Pin Tung Trident Racing

12. Michael Herck DPR

13. Carlos Iaconelli BCN Competicion

14. Adrian Valles BCN Competicion

Fastest lap time: Pastor Maldonado (Piquet Sports): 1:58.860 on lap 5

Not Classified Driver Team

Andy Soucek Super Nova Racing

Luca Filippi Trust Team Arden

Marko Asmer Fisichella Motor Sport Int.

 Bruno Senna iSport International

Diego Nunes DPR

Alvaro Parente Super Nova Racing

Alberto Valerio Durango

Mike Conway Trident Racing

Roldan Rodriguez Fisichella Motor Sport Int.

Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix

Andreas Zuber Piquet Sports

Related Motorsport Articles

84,627 articles