Oliver Turvey scores maiden win in Abu Dhabi as Rossi stars
(L to R) Valsecchi (2nd), Turvey (1st) and Bianchi (3rd)
Oliver Turvey claimed his first GP2 Asia victory Friday night leading from start to finish and fending off his teammate’s constant attacks all through the animated race. Davide Valsecchi and iSport International increased their advantage in the GP2 Asia Series standings.
As the sun set on the Yas Marina Circuit and the race started, Turvey took off perfectly passing poleman Charles Pic who was then immediately under the pressure from Valsecchi. The Italian charged the Arden man at the end of the long back straight and claimed second before Lap 2. The Top three were soon joined by Jules Bianchi and Javier Villa.
Turvey leads teammate Valsecchi
The Spaniard was the first of the leaders to obverse his mandatory pitstop on Lap 6. Pic pitted two laps later, but as he came back out, he had lost a position to his teammate. Valsecchi and Bianchi stopped the lap after that and while the Italian came back out in front of Villa, Bianchi found his way in between the two Arden cars.
Comfortably leading, Turvey pitted on Lap 10, emerging right in front of Valsecchi. The Italian showed no mercy and immediately attacked his teammate on the outside of Turns 11, 12 and 13. The two cars slightly came together, went off the track before rejoining, Valsecchi ahead of Turvey. But the Italian soon after that gave way for the Brit to get back into the lead.
Behind the duo, Villa, Bianchi and Pic joined the action with the first Frenchman sweeping around the outside of the Arden Spaniard in the last corner to claim third. In sixth, a flying Luca Filippi back from the depth of the starting grid sent Pic flying across a run-off area following an aggressive move. The poleman dropped to mid-field and was only left with regrets.
The Safety car was briefly deployed but Turvey kept the lead at the restart and no matter how much pressure Valsecchi would put onto him, he held his own till the finish line, 0.6s ahead of the Series leader and Bianchi who scored a podium on his GP2 Asia debut.
American Alexander Rossi came from the back of the grid to finish 6th
Villa passed fourth under the checkered flag. Giacomo Ricci at DPR finished a strong fifth while American Alexander Rossi, driving for a backmarker team, produced a dazzling performance from the back of the grid and worked his way to sixth while his teammate Filippi came to a halt on the very last lap after he ran out of fuel.
In the last stages of the race, Marcus Ericsson who was running in eighth came together with Michael Herck as the DPR man tried to overtake him, leaving the Super Nova racer with a broken suspension and promoting Ocean’s Max Chilton to eighth and on pole for tomorrow’s sprint race.
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