GP2 – Luca Filippi Sprints To Spa Victory

August 28, 2011

GP 2

Luca Filippi snatched a second win in the 2011 season at the wheel of the Scuderia Coloni car in an action packed sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Italian who drove flawlessly from P5 on the starting grid was joined by Jules Bianchi and Josef Kral on the podium.

As the lights went off, poleman of the day Kral made a perfect start to keep the lead, but it was Johnny Cecotto who made the strongest impression on the rest of the field. The Venezuelan chose the right side of the straight line from P9 to pass Fairuz Fauzy on the inside of Turn 1 and take P2. Further down, Filippi overtook both Dani Clos and Fairuz Fauzy to come out in third place at the end of the first lap.
As Kral stayed in control and built up a 2.9s gap with Cecotto, the Ocean driver was fighting hard to keep an overzealous Filippi at bay. The Italian passed the Venezuelan at Eau Rouge, but Cecotto fought back and regained his position quickly. Behind the battling duo, the action was just as intense with Bianchi overtaking Clos on the last corner, the Spaniard having just lost a position to newly crowned GP2 Series Champion Romain Grosjean. At the entrance of Turn 1, Bianchi made a move on Grosjean but ran a bit too wide and lost a position to Clos.
By Lap 7, Filippi had eventually passed Cecotto, and was the quickest man on track – one second faster than race leader Kral. But the Safety Car was deployed after Fabio Leimer lost the rear of his Rapax car at Eau Rouge and crashed heavily into the barrier. Although his machine was severely damaged, the Swiss driver walked away uninjured.
At the re-start, Kral stayed in the lead, but Filippi did not let him get away, overtook him after Eau Rouge and sprinted to victory. Behind them, Cecotto was under pressure from Fauzy, Grosjean with Clos in tow. The Malaysian driver eventually was out of the equation when he went a bit too wide at Turn 1 and it looked as though Cecotto would be able to breathe a little bit better while Grosjean, Clos and Bianchi were once again busy fighting each other off. The three men ran side by side after Turn 1, and at the bottom of Eau Rouge, Bianchi passed to take P4 and set his sight on Cecotto for P3. He did the job in the last corner and chased after Kral.
Cecotto lost a position to Grosjean and Clos and while the Ocean driver was fighting the Spaniard to regain his position, Sam Bird joined in on the fun and overtook both for P5. While Filippi extended his lead, Bianchi disposed of Kral in the last lap. The Arden man was then Grosjean’s prey, but Kral managed to keep the Dams man at bay to retain P3. Grosjean finished in fourth ahead of Bird and Clos.
With this result, Filippi has moved up to fifth in the drivers’ standings, nine points behind Giedo van der Garde who is still in second. As for Bianchi, after a strong Belgium weekend and two second places, the Frenchman is now third in the drivers’ standings, one point behind the Dutchman at Addax. The fight to become Vice Champion in two weeks time at Monza will be another GP2 classic.
Spa-Francorchamps– Sprint race
Driver
Team
1.
Luca Filippi
Scuderia Coloni
2.
Jules Bianchi
Lotus ART
3.
Josef Kral
4.
Romain Grosjean
Dams
5.
Sam Bird
iSport International
6.
Dani Clos
Racing Engineering
7.
Esteban Gutierrez
Lotus ART
8.
Johnny Cecotto
Ocean Racing Technology
9.
Brendon Hartley
Ocean Racing Technology
10.
Davide Valsecchi
Caterham Team AirAsia
11.
Adam Carroll
Super Nova Racing
12.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
13.
Christian Vietoris
Racing Engineering
14.
Jolyon Palmer
Arden International
15.
Michael Herck
Scuderia Coloni
16.
Max Chilton
Carlin
17.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Trident Racing
18.
Dams
19.
Charles Pic
20.
Giedo van der Garde
Barwa Addax Team
21.
Fairuz Fauzy
Super Nova Racing
Not Classified
Mikhail Aleshin
Carlin
Julian Leal
Rapax
Luiz Razia
Caterham Team AirAsia
Fabio Leimer
Rapax
Fastest Lap : Marcus Ericsson (iSport International) – 2:00.493 on lap 15
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