Adam Carroll’s hopes of winning the GP2 Turkish sprint race from pole ended with an early gearbox failure – but the prize for unlucky exits went to Bruno Senna, eliminated from the race after he hit a stray dog on the track.
Romain Grosjean won the race from seventh on the grid, with Vitaly Petrov second and Sebastien Buemi third. Yesterday’s winner Georgio Pantano took fourth, while Brits Mike Conway and Ben Hanley both drove strongly from unpromising qualification positions to take fifth and sixth.
Accidents on turns one and three, combined with Carroll’s mechanical woes, knocked eight cars out of the race on the first lap and Petrov made the most of the confusion to snatch the lead.
But behind him Grosjean was picking off drivers to move up the field, and on lap 11 he struck to pass Petrov for the lead.
Shortly after that, two stray dogs ran out onto the track and sixth-place Senna was unable to avoid hitting one. Senna’s race was ended – as was the dog – and the safety car came out while the second dog was rounded up.
Grosjean made the best of the restart and pulled away from the field for the win.
Afterwards, Senna was visibly angered and shocked by what had happened. He told adrivo.com: “It’s incredible. It’s not as if we’re in the back of beyond here. This is supposed to be a Formula One circuit. You don’t really expect to collide with a dog when you’re doing 280kph. The picture of that dog running across the track is still fresh in my memory.”
Moments before, Conway had passed by the animal safely – if narrowly. His slightly greater slice of luck meant he went on to finish the race and score points.
He said: “I had a good start this time, and I was immediately able to clinch the top-3. I was even able to pull on the side of Pantano, but I preferred not to take a useless risk. The race pace was actually pretty high but, since I was able to stay in the leading pack, I managed to keep the leaders’ tail.
“I’m glad the team finally managed to score the first points on the season, and also because I found the car to be really consistent compared to yesterday, a sign that the set-up changes we made were positive. I’m really looking forward to Monte Carlo, a race that Trident won on 2007 and where I was able to start from Row 4 despite being a rookie.”
Carroll rued the missed opportunity: “I’ve really enjoyed the weekend and it’s good to be back with the team, it was a real shame about today’s race though because we had a cracking chance to win. The car felt good on the warm up and my initial start was very good, it’s when I took second gear that the clutch just went and that was that.
“With yesterday’s race I was disappointed with my start and really don’t know why that happened. It was really important for me to do the full race distance in the new car as it’s a bit different to drive, so that was a positive and we had good pace throughout the race and picked up that final point and pole for today.”
Where they finished
- 1. Romain Grosjean – ART Grand Prix
- 2. Vitaly Petrov – Campos Team
- 3. Sebastien Buemi – Arden
- 4. Giorgio Pantano – Racing Engineering
- 5. Mike Conway – Trident Racing
- 6. Benjamin Hanley – Campos Team
- 7. Alberto Valerio – Durango
- 8. Alvaro Parente – Super Nova Racing
- 9. Kamui Kobayashi – DAMS
- 10. Diego Nunes – DPR
- 11. Giacomo Ricci – DPR
- 12. Karun Chandhok – iSport International
- 13. Roldan Rodriguez – FMS International
- 14. Luca Filippi – ART Grand Prix
- 15. Javier Villa – Racing Engineering
- 16. Milos Pavlovic – BCN Competicion
- DNF: Bruno Senna – iSport International
- DNF: Adam Carroll – FMS International
- DNF: Andreas Zuber – Piquet Sports
- DNF: Adrian Valles – BCN Competicion
- DNF: Ho-Pin Tung – Trident Racing
- DNF: Yelmer Buurman – Team Arden
- DNF: Andy Soucek – Super Nova Racing
- DNF: Jerome D’Ambrosio – DAMS
- DNF: Pastor Maldonado – Piquet Sports