Calado Sprints To Sunday Morning Win At Hockenheim

James Calado - Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service

James Calado scored the second win of his rookie GP2 campaign with a commanding win in the sprint race at Hockenheim.

The British driver led from start to finish after starting on pole position, while behind Luiz Razia was beaten into turn one by Giedo van der Garde. Razia was forced wide at turn one, causing him to drop down the order.

The points leader then spun at the hairpin, after dipping a wheel off the track under braking to avoid running into the car behind. As he stopped in the middle of the corner, Tom Dillmann was left with nowhere to go and Max Chilton ran into the back of him. Razia got going again, but Dillmann and Chilton retired as the safety car came out.

After the restart, Calado gradually extended his lead over van der Garde to take the checkered flag with an advantage of nearly eight seconds.

Felipe Nasr followed up his fourth from Saturday with a third podium finish of the season. After climbing up two places at the start, he had to resist pressure from Fabio Leimer for much of the race. Four seconds separated them by the finish though, after Leimer came under pressure from Esteban Gutierrez.

Having started tenth, Gutierrez had earlier relegated feature race winner Johnny Cecotto down to sixth place. In the closing laps, Cecotto began dropping into the clutches of a frantic battle behind. Jolyon Palmer was the man on the move, rising from tenth with seven laps to go to finish in seventh and right behind Cecotto at the line.

The battle was caused by Nigel Melker, who was struggling in seventh on the softer tyre and holding up those behind him. Stefano Coletti got by for eighth and Melker was relegated to tenth on the last lap by Davide Valsecchi.

The series veteran and title contender was running tenth earlier on but spun at the hairpin, dropping him to 16th before he fought his way back through.  Marcus Ericsson started the last lap ahead of him in tenth but after going off track he lost control coming into the Mercedes arena and fell down to 17th at the flag.

Nathanael Berthon took 11th ahead of a recovering Razia, with Rio Hayanot, Julian Leal, Josef Kral and newcomer Sergio Canamasas behind. Ricardo Teixeira was 18th, ahead of Simon Trummer, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Stephane Richelmi, Fabio Onidi and Victor Guerin who all took to the pits at some point.

Giancarlo Serenelli suffered his second high-speed accident at the entry to the stadium section this weekend, this time going straight on and into the tyre barriers but managing to walk away.

With neither Razia nor Valsecchi scoring points, the Brazilian maintains his lead on 171 points and Valsecchi on 159. Third-placed Gutierrez only scored one more point than Razia this weekend after a grid penalty for the first race, meaning he is still 42 points adrift.

Four weekends remain, the first of which is at the Hungaroring next weekend.