Luca Ghiotto takes Sprint win at Sepang

2016 GP2 Series Round 10 Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sunday 2 October 2016. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _SLA5082

Trident‘s Luca Ghiotto claimed his maiden GP2 Series victory at the Sepang International Circuit from second on the grid after seeing off a late challenge from fellow Italian Raffaele Marciello, with Pierre Gasly coming home in third.

It was New Zealander Mitch Evans starting on pole position – with the Kiwi having reported a brake issue on the formation lap – but he had to go defensive right from the start as a fast starting Ghiotto sort to find a way into the lead. Evans eventually yielded the place to the Italian at Turn 2.

In third, Marciello stayed clear of a heated battle between Racing Engineering team-mates Jordan King and Norman Nato, which saw the Frenchman spin and have to retire from the race.

The safety car was deployed to remove the stranded Racing Engineering – at the re-start Ghiotto remained in control whilst Marciello was all over the back of Evans. The Kiwi tried his hardest to hold the Italian behind but was unable to hold him off. Further down the pack King was struggling for pace before being passed by both Oliver Rowland and Antonio Giovinazzi down the main straight.

Giovinazzi, was keen to push on and immediately attacked Rowland running alongside the Brit but he ran a bit too wide off the track; he was able to re-join but dropped behind Rowland, King and Pierre Gasly who had recovered well from P11 on the grid. The Prema Racing team-mates of Giovinazzi and Gasly soon made quick work of King and Rowland and set about hunting down Gustav Malja and Evans.

Malja himself was busying attempting to find a way to get through on a slower Evans – with the Swedish driver passing the Pertamina Campos Racing driver on lap 16, with the Prema pair doing so soon after, relegating the pole sitter to P6.

Under pressure, Malja locked up and ran wide which left room for the two Prema’s to get through on him. The battle between the two title contenders raged on but Gasly defended well to keep the Italian behind.

Marciello picked up his pace in the closing laps to reduce the gap to Ghiotto to under a second, but was unable to make an impress on his fellow countryman meaning the Trident driver took his first victory to date in the series. Gasly in third, was happy to reduce the deficit in the championship to seven points, with Giovinazzi, Malja, Evans, Nobuharu Matsushita and Rowland completing the points paying positions.

Heading into the final round of the 2016 GP2 Series, Giovinazzi leads the championship on 197 by seven points over Gasly whilst Marciello sits in third with 158. The drivers return to track action for the final round at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 25-26-27.

Sepang International Circuit Race 2 Results

115Luca GhiottoITATrident40m22.211
29Raffaele MarcielloITARussian Time40m22.905
321Pierre GaslyFRAPrema Racing40m26.997
420Antonio GiovinazziITAPrema Racing40m27.613
511Gustav MaljaSWERapax40m31.904
67Mitch Evans NZLPertamina Campos Racing40m35.544
71Nobuharu MatsushitaJPNART Grand Prix40m36.208
822Oliver RowlandGBRMP Motorsport40m38.104
912Johnny CecottoVENRapax40m39.834
106Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS 40m46.456
1119Marvin KirchhöferGERCarlin40m48.048
125Alex LynnGBRDAMS 40m49.409
1310Artem Markelov RUSRussian Time40m51.498
144Jordan KingGBRRacing Engineering41m34.627
1518Sergio CanamasasESPCarlin41m48.583
1614Philo Paz ArmandINATrident34m05.692
1724Nabil JeffriMASArden International35m51.066
182Sergey SirotkinRUSART Grand Prix41m54.719
198Sean Gelael INAPertamina Campos Racing14m01.866
202Norman NatoFRARacing Engineering1m54.999
2123Daniël de Jong NEDMP MotorsportDNF