GP2 Valsecchi wins Shanghai sprint race

The Durango driver drives to victory in an action-packed race It seems like Davide Valsecchi is making Sunday wins his specialty.

After he dominated the last race of the GP2 Series in Monza last month, he drove from pole to victory in this morning’s sprint race  in  the  opening  event  of  the  GP2  Asia  Series. 

However,  he  had  to  hold  on  great  pressure from My Qi-Meritus.Mahara’s Bamber. The young Kiwi once again left a really strong impression after  another  great  start  and  an  impressive  pace  that  allowed  him  to  finish  second  hence snatching his first GP2 podium.

As usual, there was much action and drama first with Mika Maki stalling on the pre-grid and then Sakon Yamamoto failing to launch when the lights went off. However, all eyes were on poleman Valsecchi who held off Van der Drift while Earl Bamber found a way to overtake the Trident racer.

On  turn  4,  Diego  Nunes  span  and  although  no  car  touched  him,  Kamui Kobayashi whose start had not been good lost another couple positions. Further back, Iaconelli and Ricci came together, ending both of their races prematurely.

Soon enough, Javier Villa overtook Petrov for 4th while Valsecchi and Bamber pull away thanks to a  slower  Van  der  Drift  holding  up  the  rest  of  the  pack.  Another  rookie  showed  his  overtaking skills: Sergio Perez. Starting from 24th, the youngest driver of the grid made his way up to 7th.

On the  other  hand,  the  race  went  from  bad  to  even  worse  for  Japanese  ace  Kobayashi  as  his  car was  damaged  in  a  small  collision.  He  unfortunately  retired  in  the  final  stages  of  the  event.  His teammate on the other fought his way back to 5th notably through a strong move on Petrov. The Russian later had to retire on what seemed to be a fuel delivery problem.

At the chequered flag, a ecstatic Valsecchi took victory ahead of Earl Bamber and Javier Villa in spite of a small mistake in the  second-to-last  lap.  Van  der  Drift  took  fourth,  d’Ambrosio  fifth  while  yesterday’s  winner Rodriguez grabbed the remaining point. After this first round, Roldan Rodriguez is leading Javier Villa by 13 points to 10, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi just 1 point behind the young Spaniard. Earl Bamber is fourth with Davide Valsecchi and Sakon Yamamoto behind him.

Davide Valsecchi (Durango): “I was worried about the start because it’s not my strongest point. But today, I managed to keep my position. Then I decided to push for two laps in order to stay in front. In the first half of the race, I wasn’t so competitive, but then it got better. Next race, I want to stay in the Top 5 because I strongly believe this is our position in the championship. If I want to win a Saturday race, I will have to qualify well. That is the key.”

Earl  Bamber  (My  Qi-Meritus.Mahara):  “We  came  with  no  expectation:  I  have  not  a  lot  of experience. We didn’t get the best launch: I managed to box Petrov behind Van der Drift. Then I had a lot of grip on the outside. That’s how I got in P2. It’s a fantastic result for the team. Now I’ll take it race by race. That’s the best approach. Let’s hope the good results continue.”

Javier Villa (Super Nova Racing): “It was a great race. I overtook Vitaly and was behind Van der Drift. I lost a lot of time trying to overtake him and once I did, I pushed really hard to close the gap with Bamber. That’s how I made my small mistake. That’s part of the race. I finished P4 yesterday and on the podium today. I’m still improving.”

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