GP2 SeriesOpen Wheel

Coletti Eases To Yas Marina Sprint Race Win

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Just a day after Jules Bianchi added his name to the ever expanding list of GP2 winners Stefano Coletti got his first win the series, though under far more straight forward conditions that Bianchi's triumph in the feature race.

The short race – 26 laps and without the call for a pitstop – was dominated by the Monegasque driver who started from pole position thanks to the top eight being reversed. Coletti had actually finished ninth on track in the first race, but a 30 second penalty for 'failing to respect the track limits' dropped Carlin driver Max Chilton from eighth – and pole for race two – to start the second race from 12th.

Off the line there were none of the dramas of yesterday's opener. All 25 drivers on the grid (Dani Clos started from the pitlane after not getting away on the formation lap) started safely and Coletti – unlike Grosjean the day before was able to convert pole into a turn one lead over Giedo van der Garde who had passed Sam Bird for second.

Van der Garde, however, was running in second on borrowed time. In a bizarre moment just as the lights were changing to release the cars on the formation lap one of the Barwa Addax mechanics ran across the grid, plucking something from the left side of the Dutchman's car seconds before it left the grid.

The resulting drive-through penalty dropped van der Garde from second down to twentieth, handing the task of catching Coletti over to Bird, though the gap at the front was nearly two seconds after just a handful of laps.

Bird look assured of second place, before a late error put him out

iSport driver Bird never looked truly likely to wrench the lead from Coletti in the Trident run car, the gap always comfortable enough – especially on a Yas Marina track which did nothing to confound those who say it produces processional racing. But Coletti's victory was assured five laps from the end when Bird spun on the exit of T9, the car looping under acceleration smacking the barrier the right side of the track, putting Bird out of a certain podium place.

Arden driver Josef Kral picked up second place – his best ever GP2 result – with Marcus Ericcson in third completing the podium. Race one winner Bianchi had finished fourth but was one of three drivers – the others Nathanael Berthon from eighth and Charles Pic from tenth – to incur penalties for ignoring yellow flags.

The 20 second penalty dropped Bianchi out of the points – awarded to the top six in the sprint race. Davide Valsecchi therefore finished fourth – adding more points to his podium the day before on a promising debut for Team AirAsia. Michael Herck and Fabio Leimer finished fifth and sixth.

Romain Grosjean was an early victim of the race -and another victim of Herck on a busy weekend for the Romanian Coloni driver. Grosjean was nudged into a gentle spin on the first lap, but was unable to restart after stalling the engine.

He trails Bianchi by two points in the early points standings, one point ahead of both Ericcson and Valsecchi who both have nine points.

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