Oliver Turvey led home a 1-2 finish for the Norfolk-based iSport squad as the GP2 Asia cranked up to speed again, despite bashing wheels with team-mate Davide Valsecchi while the pair battled for the lead at the Yas Marina circuit.
Valsecci retains the championship lead after three races, having won one and finished runner-up in the other two, but the 22-year-old from Penrith moves up to second following his victory.
Turvey had started from second on the grid but grabbed the lead at the start as polesitter Charles Pic floundered, allowing both iSport cars past.
Valsecchi stayed close on his tail and made a move after the pitstops, gaining a fractional lead over his team-mate as they raced through turns 11 to 13 – but only at the cost of a clash of wheels that sent both cars across the run-off area and wiped out their advantage over Javier Villa, Jules Bianchi and Pic.
Turvey regained the lead almost immediately and held it to the flag, despite a late safety car. His eventual margin of victory was 0.6 seconds from Valsecchi with Bianchi third.
Late retirements for Luca Filippi, Giedo van der Garde and Marcus Ericsson shuffled several of the lower-placed drivers up the order, giving Ocean’s Max Chilton an unexpected eighth place – and with it pole for the sprint race tomorrow, subject to any action by GP2’s traditionally trigger-happy stewards.
Will Bratt drove from near the back of the grid to a respectable 12th place – despite a tussle with team-mate Alberto Valerio that left the Brazilian out of the race – but Sam Bird’s run of bad luck in the series intensified.
After a very racy, but ultimately disappointing, pair of 18th places at the previous meeting thr ART driver retired from today’s race on lap four having been forced into a spin at the start and suffering two further incidents.
- Oliver Turvey, iSport
- Davide Valsecchi, iSport
- Jules Bianchi, ART
- Javier Villa, Arden
- Giacomo Ricci, DPR
- Alexander Rossi, Meritus
- Michael Herck, DPR
- Max Chilton, Ocean
- Sergio Perez, Addax
- Josef Kral, Super Nova
- Charles Pic, Arden
- Will Bratt, Coloni
- Vladimir Arabadzhiev, Rapax
- Luca Filippi, Meritus
- Alberto Valerio, Coloni
- Plamen Kralev, Trident
- Marcus Ericsson, Super Nova
Did not finish
- Fabio Leimer, Ocean, 27 laps
- Giedo van der Garde, Addax, 25 laps
- Daniel Zampieri, Rapax, 23 laps
- Dani Clos, Trident, 9 laps
- Christian Vietoris, DAMS, 7 laps
- Sam Bird, ART, 4 laps
- Edoardo Piscopo, DAMS, 0 laps