Maldonado And Perez Share Spa Wins

GP2 Series championship rivals Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez shared the victories at the latest round at Spa-Francorchamps, keeping Perez's hopes of closing the large gap to series leader Maldonado alive.

Rapax driver Maldonado won the Saturday afternoon feature race after passing early leader and polesitter Jerome D'Ambrosio (DAMS) when they pitted together. Alvaro Parente, who was only announced as a stand-in for Coloni on Wednesday, stayed out in the lead until making a late pit stop. He rejoined in second place, and began chasing down Maldonado on fresh rubber. The Portuguese driver closed right up to the Venezuelan at the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap, but was not quite close enough to steal the victory. Romain Grosjean was third for DAMS after teammate D'Ambrosio retired. Perez had been running in third place, but had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, so finished seventh. Sam Bird and Dani Clos tangled exiting La Source at the start of the race, bringing out the safety car. Clos was injured in the crash and missed the sprint race as a result.

Perez started the Sunday morning sprint race in second, and passed polesitter Rodolfo Gonzalez (Arden) at Les Combes on the opening lap, and went on to win in dominant fashion, ahead of Addax teammate Giedo van der Garde and Parente. The race saw three safety car interventions. The first was to clear debris from the pit straight after Luca Filippi had lost his front wing, while crashes from Christian Vietoris and Charles Pic also required the safety car while they were cleared up. Maldonado retired on the opening lap, but remains 27 points ahead of Perez going into the penultimate round at Monza.