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DATE News (chronologically)
04/21/12
gp2
Valsecchi victorious in Bahrain Feature Race
Luiz Razia (left) Davide Valsecchi (center) and Esteban Gutierrez (Right)
Davide Valsecchi has once again proved his speed and skills at the Bahrain International Circuit: the DAMS ace dominated today’s feature race from start to finish in spite of a safety car period around mid-race. Valsecchi crossed the finish line 7.7s ahead of Luiz Razia. Esteban Gutierrez snatched third place over Max Chilton on the last lap.

When the lights went out, Valsecchi made the perfect start and kept the lead from Gutiérrez. Further down, Johnny Cecotto made his way to P3 whilst Razia moved up from eighth on the grid to P5, sneaking in behind Felipe Nasr. From then on, Valsecchi pulled away and started to build up a gap that none of his closest rivals could ever reduce.

A pumped Davide Valsecchi
James Calado was the first of the top ten drivers to pit on Lap 8. On track, Razia was on a mission and passed Nasr for P4 at Turn 1. At the front, Valsecchi was already 6.4s ahead of Gutierrez, so the Mexican decided to pit and so did Razia, but a problem on the Lotus GP man’s rear right tires meant that he when he rejoined the track he had dropped behind Calado, Razia and Chilton (who had pitted one lap earlier).

When Valsecchi pitted on lap 13, he handed the lead to Fabio Leimer, but the Italian was back in control of the pack a lap later when the Racing Engineering man re-entered the pits. Nathanael Berthon then in P2 and who still had to observe his mandatory pitstop was much slower than his pursuers and Chilton - the closest one – was eager to pass him, but it was Calado who took advantage of the battle in front of him to sneak ahead of the pair.

The battle for P6 intensified and ended in tears for Nasr and Cecotto. The two cars collided and stopped on track calling for a safety car period. Valsecchi’s efforts to build a comfortable gap of 11.4s was reduced to nothing, and at the restart he pulled away again from Calado. The British rookie started to struggle on his tires and it became more and more difficult to fend off Razia’s attacks. The Brazilian finally got through on Calado to claim P2. In response, Valsecchi pushed even harder and set the quickest lap time. Chilton and Gutierrez also overtook Calado and started a fight of their own for P3 that lasted until the last lap: the Carlin racer tried with all his might to block the Lotus man, but Gutierrez eventually passed him in a gutsy move to step onto the podium.

At the checkered flag, Valsecchi crossed the finish line ahead of Razia and Gutierrez. Chilton was fourth ahead of Calado. Tom Dillmann - back from P15 on the grid - was sixth and scored his first points in GP2, a just reward to a fantastic race from the French rookie. Leimer was seventh ahead of Fabio Onidi, Rio Haryanto and Brendon Hartley, the latter who had started from last on today’s grid. Onidi will start from tomorrow’s Sprint Race in reverse pole position.

Bahrain– Feature race

Pos Driver Team
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS
2. Luiz Razia Arden International
3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP
4. Max Chilton Carlin
5. James Calado Lotus GP
6. Tom Dillmann Rapax
7. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering
8. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni
9. Rio Haryanto Carlin
10. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology
11. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing
12. Julian Leal Trident Racing
13. Marcus Ericsson iSport International
14. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus
15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing
16. Simon Trummer Arden International
17. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax
18. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus
19. Dani Clos Barwa Addax Team
20. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology
21. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering
DNF Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team
DNF Felipe Nasr DAMS
DNF Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing
DNF Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni
DNF Jolyon Palmer iSport International

Fastest Lap : Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) – 1:44.380 on lap 25
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