Valsecchi closes on title with win (GP2 Asia)

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)

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23 comments on Valsecchi closes on title with win (GP2 Asia)

  1. Bianchi was the star for me. He was entertaining, refused to give up and made a good recovery.

    • Ned Flanders said on 6th February 2010, 15:48

      You’re biased though Steph, so you would say that! But I didn’t see the race so I’ll have to take your word for it.

      • I am biased I admit it :P but he was good.

        • Scribe said on 6th February 2010, 18:19

          Do you have a eurosport subscription steph?

          I looked for places to watch it free. How much does the subscription cost for eurosport. Im seriously considering it so I can watch GP2.

          • I have full sky sports package thing Scribe. Do you want the price for that?
            GP2 is good and it’s great Eurosport show it but their coverage was poor today. I can overlook that they didn’t show the podium but they missed the first 2 laps of the race and therfore the crash which brought out the safety car. They missed that just to show skiers fall over and rally cars crash. Hopefully that will be a one off

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th February 2010, 18:49

            Martin Haven explained why on Twitter afterwards:

            British Eurosport 2 was waiting for a live snowboard event (which was on the main E2 network) to finish, before joining GP2 Asia so they had to fill an open-ended gap. Contractually not allowed to join early, I believe. Lots of juggling in Paris and London. Unlike Sky or the BBC, Eurosport has to align 20 languages, for pan-network events like GP2 Asia… not QUITE as easy as you might imagine!

            http://twitter.com/MartinHaven/status/8725282742

          • Scribe said on 6th February 2010, 20:03

            I shudder to think what would happen to my family if we had the full skysports package, I number 1 of several sports nuts in my family. There arn’t enough hours in the day.

          • Thanks Keith :)
            Scribe my family finally caved when I offered to pay for it-although they thought I was mad when all I wanted was Eurosport and Motors TV lol

  2. Ned Flanders said on 6th February 2010, 15:48

    That’s one strange calender they’re using for this season. 4 races in Abu Dhabi followed by 4 races in Bahrain is the epitomy of boringness. There are loads of other circuits around Asia and the Middle East they could be using instead.

    • The thing is the tracks don’t seem as bad with GP2 because there is actually a fair amount of overtaking.

      • Steve_P83 said on 6th February 2010, 20:06

        You’re right, Abu Dhabi was pretty enjoyable to watch with the GP2 Asia cars. It was amazing yesterday when a car went off line and the dust was spraying like the track was wet. I bet if the track was like that for F1 there wouldn’t have been a single pass because no one would have went off line to try!

    • Scribe said on 6th February 2010, 20:09

      I kinda agree with you, thank the heavens they didn’t use Quatar International though, It works brilliantly as a MotoGP track and as a garanteed overtaking block for even the GP2 cars.

    • Ilanin said on 7th February 2010, 14:07

      I think it’s a real pity GP2 Asia doesn’t go to Suzuka (I’m guessing for cost reasons). Not only for the fact that it’s an incredible and very technical racetrack, but also because that way we might have fewer interruptions to F1 practice and qualifying sessions caused by rookies who’ve never been here before flying off when trying to learn the circuit.

      • In the olden days Formula Nippon was a good grooming ground for European drivers trying to get into F1. Hence you had a bunch of drivers in the mid-1990s (Mika Salo and Eddie Irvine spring to mind) who were amazing at Suzuka but pretty average everywhere else!

  3. Has anyone seen the crash at the start? Eurosport completely missed it.

    • Yes I did, Joseph Kral’s car hit Luca Filippi’s car, it wasn’t a big hit, Luca continued as Kral’s car stopped in the middle of the track..

  4. Whitty 123 said on 6th February 2010, 21:52

    Keith, watching Piquets first stock car race. Doing alright. Watch here

    http://www.justin.tv/slapnut_v5#r=avu0JRk

    • Gmh051 said on 6th February 2010, 22:49

      I am also watching- he’s doing better than Danica!

      Best of all, this race is on at a GREAT time to watch for me :)

    • Dr. Gonzo said on 7th February 2010, 0:49

      Wow! Danica recovers from a high speed trip through the grass to a banging fenders battle with The GOAT to the checkers for 6th; which she won!
      Nelsinho finishes 27th – 13 laps down.

      • Nelsinho was the one who pushed Danica off the circuit onto the grass! It was priceless to watch LOL! He also shoved another car lightly prior to that.. He did well in the beginning but then lost his 5th place after failing to restart after all the cars were parked – not sure what’s the proper terminology for that (NASCAR/ARCA newbie)

        Did you see the car that kept flipping non-stop?! Some wild stuff on there!

  5. James_mc said on 7th February 2010, 23:33

    Valssechi’s helmet is on the horrible side of ostentatious… :-)

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