Valsecchi closes on title with win (GP2 Asia)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Daivde Valsecchi put himself in a commanding position to win the GP2 Asia championship with his second win of the season at Abu Dhabi.

Starting from seventh on the grid Valsecchi reeled in leader Michael Herck in the closing stages. The DPR driver offered little resistance, settling for second place ahead of team mate Giacomo Ricci.

Herck had taken the lead at the start, taking advantage of a poor start by pole sitter Max Chilton.

With third row starters Jules Bianchi and Javier Villa also suffering problems, the iSport duo instantly gained two places. But the race was quickly neutralised behind the safety car after Luca Filippi and Josef Kral tangled.

Alexander Rossi held second place after the restart but quickly slipped backwards as first Ricci and then Valsecchi made their way by.

Yesterday’s winner Turvey also struggled to make progress, with Sergio Perez and later Chilton passing the iSport driver. Perez chased down Rossi and put a robust, wheel-to-wheel pass on the American to take fourth place.

While Turvey shaped up to re-pass Chilton at the hairpin, behind him Giedo van der Garde made a less successful attempt to pass Vlado Arabadjiev, tipping his rival into a spin.

Turvey took his place back from Chilton and then quickly cut the gap to Rossi. He picked off the American and went after Perez but there were too few laps left for him to pass. The pair finished the race just 0.6s apart.

Chilton took the final point – just as he did yesterday – with Bianchi in his wheel tracks. The French driver mounted a superb fight back after starting in the pits, executing a string of marvellous late-braking passes on his rivals.

Rossi slipped to ninth at the flag behind Charles Pic and ahead of the recovering Arabadjiev.

Valsecchi’s win leaves him with 35 points as the season heads into its second half. Team mate Turvey – the only other driver to have scored in every race – is second, 21 points behind. Rossi holds third ahead of Christian Vietoris.

While all the first-half of the season took place at Yas Island, the final four rounds will be at Bahrain. Races five and six are in two weeks’ time, with the season finale on the support bill for the first race of the F1 season.

GP2 Asia Abu Dhabi sprint race in pictures

Read more: Turvey heads iSport 1-2 (GP2 Asia)