Chilton wins Singapore feature race as Valsecchi becomes GP2 Champion

Another thrilling GP2 season comes to a conclusion

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22 September 2012 - 11:39
Chilton wins Singapore feature race (...)

Max Chilton has taken victory at the inaugural GP2 feature race around the streets of Singapore, whereas Davide Valsecchi has been crowned the 2012 GP2 Series Champion after finishing 4th ahead of Championship rival Luiz Razia. The race ended under safety car conditions, after heavy incident for Luca Filippi.

Poleman Luca Filippi suffered a torrid start for Coloni, dropping way down the order as Max Chilton stormed into the lead for Carlin with Esteban Gutierrez a close 2nd. Total carnage ensued further back in the opening lap, as Riccardo Teixeira and Rodolfo Gonzalez collided, Rene Binder spun and Victor Guerin ran straight on at turn 5 and slammed into the barriers. These chain of events brought out the safety car, as Gonzalez and Teixeira pitted due to their sustained damage.

The safety car period lasted for only several laps before green flag racing was resumed, with Max Chilton leading from the Lotus of Gutierrez. As the incident between Gonzalez and Teixeira came under investigation from the stewards, Simon Trummer slammed into the barriers at turn 18 and out of the race, however the highly efficient marshals were able to clear the stricken Arden International car without the need for another safety car period.

As the race continued, many drivers began peeling off into the pits to make their mandatory pit stop. Some drivers, the Championship contenders of Valsecchi and Razia included, started the race on the softer tyre compound and therefore were amongst the first to pit on laps 7 and 8. The leading duo of Chilton and Gutierrez eventually pitted a lap later, thus handing the lead down to the iSport International of Marcus Ericsson.

Johnny Cecotto jr. became the next retirement of the race, as the Venezuelan driver became the latest victim of the vicious “Singapore Sling” corner at turn 10. Cecotto jr. bounced precariously over the kerbing, eventually coming to rest off-track and out of the race. Marcus Ericsson pitted from the lead on lap 11, as Nigel Melker assumed the lead. Once Melker pitted, Fabio Onidi took the lead for Coloni and Sergio Canamasas came under investigation from the stewards for exceeding track limits at turn 10. The Spaniard was eventually issued a drive-thru penalty for his misdemeanors, as Jolyon Palmer became the latest retirement.

The ill James Calado eventually retired from the race on lap 24, after starting the race from a lowly 15th for Lotus. Fabio Onidi collided with Jake Rosenzweig as the race neared its conclusion, before the second Coloni of Luca Filippi slammed heavily into the barriers on the exit of the final corner. This once again brought out the safety car, as the race eventually came to an end under safety car conditions. A replay showed Luca Filippi tapping the barrier at turn 18, which supposedly damaged his front wing and was the catalyst for his heavy incident.

After securing the reserve driver role at the Marussia F1 Team, Max Chilton took a superlative and dominating victory as the checkered flag fell. The Briton was followed home by Esteban Gutierrez in 2nd and Fabio Leimer in 3rd. Davide Valsecchi finished 4th, clinching the Drivers’ Championship over the Arden International of Luiz Razia.

Tomorrow’s final sprint race will see the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde take the reverse grid pole, as the Constructors’ Championship between DAMS and Lotus comes to a thrilling conclusion around the Marina Bay street circuit.

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PosDriverTeamTime
01. Max Chilton Carlin 28 laps - 1h01m48.095s
02. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP +1.363
03. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering +4.894
04. Davide Valsecchi DAMS +5.945
05. Luiz Razia Arden International +6.295
06. Felipe Nasr DAMS +8.798
07. Marcus Ericsson iSport International +14.229
08. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing +15.147
09. Rio Haryanto Carlin +48.855
10. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering +49.445
11. Julian Leal Trident Racing +51.466
12. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology +52.099
13. Stefano Coletti Rapax +52.839
14. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing +64.038
15. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team +64.314
16. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus +64.378
17. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax +65.013
18. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni DNF
19. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni DNF
20. James Calado Lotus GP DNF
21. Jolyon Palmer iSport International DNF
22. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team DNF
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing DNF
24. Simon Trummer Arden International DNF
25. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology DNF
26. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus DNF

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