Tom Dillmann produced a stunning drive to claim a maiden GP2 Series victory as he resisted extreme pressure late-on from Luiz Razia to win the sprint race at the standalone round in Bahrain.
Davide Valescchi completed the podium in third, the points leader not quite managing to score four wins from four races at the Sakhir circuit.
Dillmann started the race from pole position on the reverse grid. He managed to keep fellow front-row starter Marcus Ericsson behind him at the start, while behind Esteban Gutierrez made a good start from tenth on the grid but went into Turn 1 too hot and hit Giedo van der Garde, sending the Dutchman into a spin. The incident was investigated, but Gutierrez escaped without punishment.
Dillmann began building up a lead while Ericsson fell into the clutches of those behind. Razia got by after three laps, and was followed through by Rio Haryanto. After (quite literally) fighting his way into sixth on the opening lap, Gutierrez then took Valsecchi on lap six as the Italian took his time getting by Ericsson. Gutierrez found a way straight past the Swede, and then caught and passed Haryanto.
Valsecchi eventually got by Ericsson, and four laps later he'd taken fourth from Haryanto. He then set off after Gutierrez, getting back past the Mexican around five laps from the finish.
Meanwhile, Dillmann was paying the price for pushing early on and was struggling with his tyres. Razia caught him in a matter of laps, and it looked almost certain that he would find a way past in the last couple of laps.
Razia was right on his tail through the final lap, and looked to make a move at the very last corner but thought better of it. Dillmann got a good enough drive out of the final corner to cross the line ahead, and claim his first victory in just his third GP2 Series race weekend. The GP3 graduate had struggled to raise the budget needed to secure a seat during the winter, despite an impressive performance in the non-championship round at Abu Dhabi last November.
Valsecchi again demonstrated amazing pace late-on, as he caught up with the leading duo to cross the line only three second behind. He needed a few more laps to be able to take a fourth win from as many Bahrain races.
Gutierrez finished in fourth, with Brazilian Felipe Nasr taking fifth from Haryanto on the last lap having previously taken sixth from Ericsson.
Fabio Leimer slumped at the start after lining up seventh on the grid, but came back through and took eighth from Fabio Onidi a couple of laps from the finish, having previously got by his Racing Engineering teammate Nathanael Berthon.