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Asia: Turvey battles to maiden win
6 February 2010
Oliver Turvey has won his first GP2 Asia race after a fending off a spirited attack from team-mate Davide Valsecchi to lead an iSport 1-2 in Abu Dhabi.
Having qualified alongside former World Series by Renault rival Charles Pic for the feature race, Turvey got the better start to snatch the lead at the lights, the Briton being followed by Valsecchi by the time they had completed the opening lap.
Pic gave chase in third, but was quickly under pressure from countryman Jules Bianchi and Arden team-mate Javier Villa for the privilege of third position.
Of the quintet, Villa was the first to make his mandatory pit stop, the Spaniard leapfrogging both Pic and Bianchi when they followed through two laps later.
Valsecchi pitted soon afterwards to retain his place ahead of the pair, the Italian pushing hard to make up time on Turvey, who was now circulating alone at the head of the field.
When Turvey eventually pitted, he emerged directly in front of Valsecchi, prompting the more experienced driver to attack through turns 11, 12 and 13. Contact ensued and both drivers took a trip across the run-off, but while Valsecchi emerged in front, Turvey fought back straight away to reclaim the lead.
A brief safety car period bunched the field up again, but Turvey would have the measure of Valsecchi to the finish line to complete the first GP2 win for a British driver since Mike Conway at Monaco in 2008.
Just behind, Villa, Bianchi and Pic disputed the final podium position until the trio was reduced to a duo when Pic tangled with a charging Luca Filippi, the Italian making an aggressive move to send the Frenchman across the run-off area and down the order.
Eventually Bianchi would get the better of Villa to claim a podium on his GP2 debut for ART, Villa dropping five seconds behind the Frenchman by the chequered flag.
The battle for the remaining points positions went to the flag after Filippi came to a halt on the final lap, his problems promoting DPR's Giacomo Ricci to a fine fifth place, while Filippi's Qi-Meritus team-mate Alexander Rossi was an impressive sixth, the American having fought his way up from the back of the field.
Michael Herck made it two DPR cars in the top eight with a run to seventh, the Romanian scoring his first-ever GP2 points in the process. However, the position came at the expense of Marcus Ericsson, who collided with Herck in the closing stages, forcing him to retire. As such, Max Chilton assumed the final point on his debut for Ocean Racing Technology and secured the sprint race pole position as a result.
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