Russian Time’s Sam Bird has stormed to victory in the second GP2 race at Singapore keeping the pressure on the top of the points table with only one round of the 2013 season left to go.
Starting from pole position thanks to an 8th place finish in the feature race, Bird stormed to a mature and well driven victory followed behind by Marcus Ericsson and GP2 points leader Fabio Leimer.
With the top two starting strongly off the line, the only change in the top five was Leimer leap frogging Bird’s team mate Tom Dillmann who made a start that definitely won’t go down as a personal best.
However, it was what happened lower down the grid on the first lap that caught many people’s attention. Monegasque Rapax driver Stefano Coletti completely messed up turn eight braking too late and punted Mitch Evans, taking Simon Trummer and Alexander Rossi along for the ride as well just for good measure. Thankfully all of them could continue however, Coletti did finish 24th – last of those still running – mainly due to the drive through penalty he was given for causing an avoidable accident.
At the sharp end of the field, the top four were engaged a strong battle of keep the tyres remotely fresh but this was a battle that didn’t involve Jolyon Palmer, the GP2 feature race winner was struggling on his soft tyres and from fifth place he fell backwards allowing Jon Lancaster, Johnny Cecotto and Daniel Abt to get past.
That wasn’t the only action Abt was involved in – having failed to slow down for a yellow flag the German was given a drive through penalty and through forgetting/ignoring to serve the penalty within the three laps allowed – he was black flagged and left wondering what might have been if only he had served the penalty.
Back at the front and the top two were involved in a game of cat and mouse as the race came to the final stages, it appeared that Ericsson was closing the gap to Bird, but it was soon plainly obvious that the Brit was in full control of the situation and began to reopen the gap and claim his fifth win of this GP2 season.
In the end championship leader Leimer had to settle for third behind Ericsson but ahead of Stefan Richelmi and following the disqualification of Abt, De Jong claimed seventh with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs behind in eighth.
The GP2 points table still has Racing Engineering’s Leimer at the top only seven points ahead of Bird on 179 and 172 respectively. Both of whom are far, far ahead of Carlin’s Felipe Nasr who couldn’t add even a solitary point to his second place finish in race one and is stuck on 148.
The final round of this 2013 season is in just over a months time as the first weekend in November plays host to the GP2 machinery as they battle out in Yas Marina as the Formula One circus heads to Abu Dhabi with the championship a two horse race between Bird and Leimer.