Dani Clos wins sprint race, Romain Grosjean takes title
In the final race of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series in Imola, Dani Clos recovered from a poor qualifying on Friday by winning today’s event in Imola, while Romain Grosjean sealed a second title with a fourth place finish.
Clos took the lead of the race from P2 straight from the start while polesitter Fairuz Fauzy failed to pull away properly. The Super Nova driver dropped several places and locked up going into the first corner hitting title contender Jules Bianchi who then could not avoid hitting Stefano Coletti’s car.
Bianchi’s early retirement meant that Grosjean was under no threat to pocket a second crown, but the Champion would still fight for another podium finish. Fourth after the first lap, the Dams driver started chasing Barwa Addax’s Giedo Van der Garde while Clos kept Rapax’s Fabio Leimer at bay.
As Grosjean was trying to find a way past the Dutchman, GP3 Series reigning Champion Esteban Gutierrez closed in on the Frenchman and started to put pressure on him. In the closing laps, the Lotus ART rookie tried a bold maneuver on Grosjean at Tamburello, but to no avail: both cars went across the grass and the Dams driver kept his position.
Clos never pulled away from Leimer, and the Swiss maintained a gap of less than a second from the Spaniard. Still, the Racing Engineering man drove flawlessly and was able to pocket a second GP2 win at the checkered flag, an encouraging result before the start of the main Series in Istanbul in May. Behind the two leaders, van der Garde eventually scored a second podium this weekend and with Coletti out of the race the Dutchman was guaranteed third place in the drivers’ standings. The final point for sixth place was taken by Michael Herck at Scuderia Coloni after Rodolfo Gonzalez retired mid-race following mechanical gremlins.
With Grosjean’s crown, Dams sealed a second Team title ahead of Lotus ART and Barwa Addax Team.
Imola – Sprint Race Driver Team 1. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 2. Fabio Leimer Rapax 3. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 4. Romain Grosjean Dams 5. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 6. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 7. Pal Varhaug Dams 8. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 9. Josef Kral Arden International 10. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 11. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 12. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean Racing Technology 13. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 14. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 15. Max Chilton Carlin 16. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 17. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 18. Julian Leal Rapax 19. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 20. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin
Not classified Sam Bird iSport International Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing Jolyon Palmer Arden International Jules Bianchi Lotus ART Stefano Coletti Trident Racing Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing
Fastest lap time : Romain Grosjean (Dams) – 1 :28.772 on lap 8
Drivers Standings Driver Points 1. Romain Grosjean 27 2. Jules Bianchi 18 3. Giedo Van der Garde 16 4. Stefano Coletti 11 5. Fabio Leimer 9 6. Marcus Ericsson 9 7. Davide Valsecchi 9 8. Dani Clos 8 9. Josef Kral 8 10. Michael Herck 8 11. Esteban Gutierrez 2 12. Sam Bird 2 13. Fairuz Fauzy 1
Teams Standings Teams Points 1. Dams 27 2. Lotus ART 20 3. Barwa Addax Team 16 4. Trident Racing 11 5. iSport International 11 6. Rapax 9 7. Team AirAsia 9 8. Racing Engineering 8 9. Arden International 8 10. Scuderia Coloni 8 11. Super Nova Racing 1
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