Luca Filippi scored his second win of the GP2 Series season with victory in an exciting Sunday morning sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Josef Kral started from pole position after having his finished position from Saturday's race switched by the stewards, and the Czech youngster led away and opened up a decent gap in the early laps.
The story of the start however was the stunning start from Johnny Cecotto Jr, who reacted quicker than everyone else to the lights going out and flew from 11th on the grid. Diving down the inside into La Source, the Venezuelan moved into second place on the opening lap.
Filippi got himself up to third place from fifth on the grid during the opening couple of laps by taking Dani Clos and then Fairuz Fauzy at Les Combes. He then eventually got by Cecotto a few laps later and set off after Kral.
The safety car came out midway through the race when Fabio Leimer appeared to crash heavily at the top of Eau Rouge. He lost control of the car on his way up the hill, and although the impact with the tyre barrier wasn't caught by the television cameras, his car was stranded on the exit of the corner minus a rear axle which was left in the barriers. The Swiss driver was able to walk away seemingly unscathed.
Filippi took the lead from Kral at Les Combes on the restart, while behind hell broke loose as Cecotto and Fauzy came under attack for third and fourth places. Romain Grosjean, who wrapped up the title yesterday, made his way through into third place. Cecotto managed to regain the position, and as a result Grosjean came under attack from Clos and Jules Bianchi, with the trio running three-abreast into Eau Rouge. Bianchi won out and took fourth place, while Grosjean held onto fifth ahead of Clos.
Bianchi soon took third from Cecotto, before chasing down Kral and passing the Czech driver in the closing laps. Grosjean soon got past Cecotto for good, with Kral holding onto the final podium place. Cecotto fell all the way back to eighth by the checkered flag, with Sam Bird charging through to fifth at the finish past Clos.
With Grosjean having seal the title the attention has turned to the scrap for second overall. A point-less weekend for Giedo van der Garde leaves the Dutchman just one point ahead of Bianchi, with Charles Pic, Bird and Filippi not too far behind. The season finale takes place at Monza in two weeks time.
Race results – 18 laps:
|1||Luca Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||39:34.834|
|2||Jules Bianchi||Lotus ART||4.476|
|3||Josef Kral||Arden International||6.857|
|5||Sam Bird||iSport International||8.993|
|6||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||12.952|
|7||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus ART||14.364|
|8||Johnny Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||19.360|
|9||Brendon Hartley||Ocean Racing Technology||19.634|
|10||Davide Valsecchi||Caterham Team AirAsia||20.192|
|11||Adam Carroll||Super Nova Racing||21.472|
|12||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||22.033|
|13||Christian Vietoris||Racing Engineering||22.348|
|14||Jolyon Palmer||Arden International||22.917|
|15||Michael Herck||Scuderia Coloni||23.672|
|17||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||28.510|
|19||Charles Pic||Barwa Addax Team||28.853|
|20||Giedo van der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||29.374|
|21||Fairuz Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||59.072|
|Ret||Julian Leal||Rapax||13 laps|
|Ret||Mikhail Aleshin||Carlin||13 laps|
|Ret||Luiz Razia||Caterham Team AirAsia||12 laps|
|Ret||Fabio Leimer||Rapax||7 laps|
Drivers' standings after 8 of 9 rounds:
1. Romain Grosjean, 83pts
2. Giedo van der Garde, 49
3. Jules Bianchi, 48
4. Charles Pic, 42
5. Luca Filippi, 40
6. Sam Bird, 37