Davide Valsecchi claimed his first GP2 victory outside of Bahrain this season in the sprint race at his home track of Monza. The result gives Valsecchi an advantage of 25 points over rival Luiz Razia heading to the final race weekend in Singapore.
Valsecchi made the best start from third on the grid to surge ahead of front row starters Stefano Coletti and Jolyon Palmer. Valsecchi was kept honest by Fabio Leimer throughout the race but managed to stay ahead and record his first win since April.
Palmer took third place after getting by Coletti on lap two, was challenged by his iSport International teammate Marcus Ericsson later in the race. The Swede was first through the first chicane at the start – but only because he got his braking wrong behind Leimer and quickly jinked out onto the grass, managing to keep it out of the barrier. Rejoining the tarmac in the lead, he ceded places and dropped to fourth before getting ahead of Coletti on lap 16.
Ericsson and Palmer diced it out for third, with both cutting the first chicane together at one stage. Palmer held on, and Ericsson dropped back behind Coletti. He retook fourth place with a brave move around the outside of Ascari, but as he ran slightly wide, Coletti dived back past on the exit. Ericsson then dropped behind both Johnny Cecotto and Max Chilton to finish down in seventh. Julian Leal took the final point in eighth, having run seventh for much of the race before Cecotto’s late charge.
After his fairytale home win on his GP2 reutrn in the feature race, Luca Filippi sustained front wing damage early on and as he was struggling at turn-in he pitted to have it replaced, dropping right to the back. Esteban Gutierrez’s race came to an early end when he went straight on into the Parabolica gravel trap at the end of lap two, while Lotus GP teammate James Calado’s nightmare weekend continued with a continued lack of pace from his car on his way to 14th, behind recent newcomer Rene Binder.
After starting on the back row following his feature race clash and subsequent penalty, Luiz Razia only made it as far as 16th, meaning he scores no points this weekend. Valsecchi recorded the fastest lap of the top ten, giving him two bonus points and a 25 point lead going into the season finale at Singapore in two weeks’ time.