Glock wins to retake title advantage
Timo Glock made up for his misfortunes of yesterday by decimating the field in race two at Istanbul Park, claiming the win with another clinical display of brute speed to finish almost ten seconds ahead of Xandi Negrao and Adam Carroll as the German regained his lead in the championship from rival Lucas di Grassi.
After running qualifying pace laps all race long in race one as a result of an unfortunately timed safety car period, this morning Glock resumed apace, and the win was set up by a good start followed by some aggressive overtaking to get to the front of the field.
With a surprising front row of Karun Chandhok and Negrao no one knew what to expect when the lights went out, but both drivers got away well, the former holding onto his advantage and a storming start from Kazuki Nakajima splitting the pair, with Borja Garcia, Glock, Carroll, Giorgio Pantano and di Grassi holding position behind them. One man who lost out yet again at the start was Andi Zuber, who stalled at the back of the field and had to be pushed into the pits to be restarted.
Up at the front Nakajima was piling the pressure onto Chandhok, but the Indian driver was equal to the challenge, looking serene despite the constant red and white presence in his mirrors. Further back and Glock was on a charge: he sliced past Garcia on the first lap and then blew by Negrao next time around on the back straight, putting himself into the top three and setting himself up for a few fastest laps to get up to the leading pair.
Further back di Grassi knew that his championship rival was picking up points: he clearly needed to get some for himself, but unfortunately he was in eighth place behind Pantano. Running through the complex he saw a gap that closed rapidly and the pair collided, with Pantano spinning helplessly around before getting away again as di Grassi's rear wing disappeared into the distance.
Meanwhile Luca Filippi was driving as though his career depended on it, clearly determined to make amends for his mistake in the first lap yesterday: after starting second last he was carving through the field like a hot knife through butter, running in eleventh after a couple of laps and looking for even more as he closed in on the point paying positions. His life was being made a little easier by silly moves elsewhere on the track, in particular Sebastien Buemi making a silly lunge inside Jason Tahinci at the final turn: the Turk was spun around and removed Adrian Zaugg's front wing for him and the Swiss driver was soon in the pits to take a drive through penalty, followed shortly after by his teammate for the move on Pantano.
Back at the front Nakajima was still harassing Chandhok, who now also had the ominous extra pressure of Glock right behind the pair. The Japanese driver clearly took this as a hurry up call, but unfortunately he went for a gap that wasn't there at the final turn and punted Chandhok into the gravel and retirement, a cruel blow after such a strong drive for the Indian: Nakajima was soon in the pits for a drive through and then retirement, but it was no consolation for the unhappy Indian driver.
The move handed the lead to Glock, who had looked to easily have the pace to get by anyway: the German just put his foot down and tore away, and the rest of the field looked like they were in a different race.
That race now had Negrao in front, with Carroll ahead of Garcia, Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov, with Luca Filippi remarkably just outside of the points after the drive throughs shook out: di Grassi had dropped to fifteenth and had no chance of coming back. Senna was clearly pushing hard, and a points finish would be welcome after an incredibly unlucky run of finishes, but it looked as though it all went wrong when he missed his braking point at the end of the back straight and ran wide, with Petrov and Filippi slipping through.
The Italian was clearly overjoyed to be up in the points and was looking for more. He was noticeably faster than Petrov but the Russian was robust in his defence of fifth, which ultimately forced the Italian into a mistake: Filippi ran a little wide through turn one after braking too late and Senna could outdrag him up the hill, undoing all of his good work.
But when the laps ran out all eyes were on Glock, who regained his title lead with a dominant performance at the front to claim the win by 9.4 seconds over Negrao, who was nonetheless delighted to claim his first ever podium in the series ahead of Carroll. Garcia was the next man across the line, another plucky performance to take fourth ahead of Petrov and Senna, with Zuber picking up the fastest lap the last time around.
With di Grassi finishing 11th and outside the points for only the second time this year the championship swung back to Glock's corner, 66 to 64, and the German was serene in victory, delighted to score his third win of the season and score the result that his blinding speed has warranted all weekend.