Stefano Coletti Dominates His Way To Barcelona Sprint Win


Coletti took the race lead around the outide of turn one (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Services)

Stefan Coletti protected him GP2 points lead, dominating the Sprint Race in Barcelona to win his second race of the year.

The Rapax driver got the better of the start, driving from the third row of the grid – the top eight reversed from the Feature Race the previous day – to take the lead from pole-sitter Johnny Cecotto around the outside of turn one with Robin Frijns and Felipe Nasr taking second and third respectively further round the opening lap after their own strong starts while Tom Dillmann stalled on the second row of the grid.

The top three were able to break away, Cecotto holding up increasingly long train of drivers, with Jolyon Palmer at their head until he was able to find a way past six laps from the end at turn five. The order behind was firther shaken up when Kevin Ceccon ran wide trying to make his own way past the Arden International driver.

The delay for Ceccon put Alexander Rossi at the head of the train. The American got to the inside of Cecotto for turn one but both locked up, Cecotto scampering across the run off to keep his position, their battle seeing the line of cars behind the struggling Cecotto grow with Rio Haryanto, Daniel Abt and Rossi’s Caterham Racing teammate Sergio Canamasas able to join the end of the line.

Canamasas, having caught the battle, made his way through the combatants, replacing Rossi as the man best positioned to breach Cecotto’s defences on the penultimate lap. The Spaniard looked to have done exactly that further round the same lap, able to hold a far, far tighter line around turn 13 that should have given him the inside line for 13 and the drop down the hill to the chicane. However, Cecotto jinked across on the Spaniard, prompting another shuffle of the order, Abt able to get alongside Canamasas under braking for the chicane with Haryanto behind the pair of them.

In the middle of the pack Haryanto missed his braking point, riding up the rear of Canamasas’ car removing the rear wing of the #14 for the second time in the weekend after Nathanael Berthon’s demolition job early in Feature Race.

Cecotto escaped punishment for his role in the frantic final laps to finish fifth, though the 23 second chasm that had opened between he and Palmer in just a few laps was the lasting indication of Cecotto’s lack of pace in the final laps.

Rossi, Ceccon and Abt – the German also delayed in the skirmish behind Cecotto – completed the points scoring positions.