James Calado takes GP2 sprint victory


James Calado has won the GP2 sprint race in Belgium but was pushed all the way by maiden podium finisher Julian Leal.

Taking advantage of fellow front row starter Stéphane Richelmi having to start on the damp side of the grid, Calado and Colombian Leal snuck past ahead going round La Source.

Also making a good start were Adrian Quaife-Hobbs who got past Fabio Leimer on the Kemmel Straight, while GP2 series leader Stefano Coletti used his option tyres to good effect to get from 13th to fifth by the end of lap one.

However, it was ART Grand Prix driver Calado who was using the open track ahead of him to rattle out numerous fastest laps building a lead over his followers to try and observe his rivals playing their hands tyre strategy wise.

Eventually, as it became clear that the race would be a dry one throughout, the gamble taken by Monegasque Coletti was a bad one and was soon being passed by every man and his dog as he was left thinking about what could have been.

With Leal protecting his tyres superbly in the opening stages of the race, he started storming towards Calado and was gunning for a maiden victory but the Briton was sticking intently to the top step of the podium.

That was the position they stayed in crossing the line, with the Racing Engineering driver 0.4 seconds behind but ahead of a storming Quaife-Hobbs. Fourth was Richelmi who spent most of the race all by himself with Leimer being stuck too long behind Coletti to close up to Richelmi.

In sixth place was Jolyon Palmer ahead of Arden International’s Johnny Cecotto who himself was ahead of Tom Dillmann. GP2 race one winner Sam Bird ended quite a way outside the points in 14th.

In the GP2 points table Coletti still has a six point advantage over Felipe Nasr who has 129 points, after the Brazilian failed to score as well. Third place is Fabio Leimer on 128 points who is only seven points ahead of Bird.

The next GP2 round takes place at Monza in two weeks time.