Davide Valsecchi crowned Asia Series Champion
The iSport ace wins Bahrain feature race today and clinches Series title
Davide Valsecchi charged to victory today in Bahrain’s Feature Race. With this third win, he snatched the Series title with three races to spare before the end of the season. After Romain Grosjean in 2008 and Kamui Kobayashi in 2009, the iSport racer becomes the third GP2 Asia Series Champion.
As soon as the lights went off at Sakhir, Polesitter Jules Bianchi fell out of contention for victory following a very poor start. Javier Villa and Luca Filippi burst from second row to the first corner where the Meritus man took advantage on the Spaniard. Though quicker than Filippi, Villa could not find a way passed the Italian and chose to observe an early pitstop on Lap 8 - a winning strategy that put him ahead of Filippi and Valsecchi once all pistops were done.
Towards the late stages of the race, Valsecchi’s pace improved. Then running in third place, he rapidly closed the gap with Filippi. After several attempts to pass his countryman, leading to one small mistake and going wide at Turn 10 but he recovered, Valsecchi eventually overtook Filippi into Turn 1 on lap 28. It took him only one lap to catch Villa. The Spaniard surrendered and handed him the lead one lap later also in the first corner. Valsecchi then pulled away easily and secured victory four laps later.
Struggling with his tyres, Villa could not resist Filippi’s assaults for too long and had to fend off Ricci’s attacks until the finish line. Behind them, Charles Pic finished fifth – also benefiting from an early pitstop strategy - ahead of Alvaro Parente and Sergio Perez. Adrian Zaugg took eighth place for Trident Racing from eighteenth on the grid. The GP2 returnee will start from pole position on tomorrow’s grid.
With his nearest rival and teammate Oliver Turvey delayed in the pits following a problem on his left rear wheel and out of the points today, Valsecchi scored enough with this additional win to secure the title three races before the end of the season. The teams’ title remains to be decided although with 61 points to 20 on DPR, iSport International seem impossibly close to another crown.
|03.||Villa||Arden International||+ 6.067s|
|05.||Pic||Arden International||+ 13.026s|
|07.||Perez||Barwa Addax||+ 23.948s|
|10.||Bianchi||ART Grand Prix||+ 33.238s|
|12.||Buurman||Ocean Racing||+ 39.513s|
|13.||Bird||ART Grand Prix||+ 40.415s|
|18.||Chilton||Barwa Addax||+ 1m05.086s|
|19.||Rosenzweig||Super Nova||+ 1m06.211s|
|20.||Leimer||Ocean Racing||+ 1m23.385s|
|21.||Kral||Super Nova||+ 1m53.049s|
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