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Hülkenberg back on top

Nico Hülkenberg claimed his fourth win of the season after steering clear of the early race mayhem before walking away from Sergio Perez and Vitaly Petrov to claim an easy victory in race two this morning at Valencia.

The win was set up at the start when Hülkenberg made a storming start to put himself in the best position to capitalise on any problems ahead.

It was a smart move: Luca Filippi made an equally impressive getaway from the dirty side of the track to edge past pole-man Kamui Kobayashi, who tapped his real wheel and spun the Italian at turn one, blocking the track and causing a predictable mess and a visit by the safety car.

At the re-start Kobayashi held on despite his broken front wing, with Roldan Rodriguez trying to get by and spinning himself into the wall instead, promoting Hülkenberg to second as the safety car made a return, which became the lead just ahead of Perez at the re-start as Kobayashi answered the black and orange flag being waved for his front wing.

The Mexican threw everything he had at his rival, while immediately behind him team-mate Edoardo Mortara knocked Alvaro Parente into a spin to scatter the field behind, with Petrov finding the right line through the tyre smoke to put himself side by side with Jérôme d'Ambrosio, although he had to wait until the final turn before the move could stick for fourth, just as the safety car returned once more.

Mortara cut across the Russian's bow at the re-start but was soon handed a drive through for causing the Parente spin, and yesterday's top three were back in control, albeit in a different configuration. Hülkenberg was able to set a string of fastest laps to build another strong lead over Perez, who held on admirably for the rest of the race to claim second just ahead of Petrov.

D'Ambrosio was fourth, a suitable reward for a patient drive, although he had his mirrors full of Diego Nunes' iSport for the second half of the race.

Karun Chandhok claimed the final point to make up for losing out on the point he lost yesterday due to broken suspension, although Davide Rigon pushed him all the way to the flag for the position, while in the championship battle Hülkenberg stretched his legs once again to lead rival Petrov by 20 points as they look towards next weekend in Spa-Francorchamps.



Related Pictures

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Nico Hulkenberg - ART Grand Prix   [pic credit: GP2]
Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his race victory on the podium at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia Spain on June 16 2013. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates winning his first GP3 Series pole position, for race 1 at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo. Valencia. Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit:Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service)
James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) celebrates his pole position during Friday qualifying on the streets of Valencia. June 22 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) and Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) among those caught up in the turn 2 pile-up in the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.)
The safety car leads the field early in the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.)
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) celebrates his victory on the podium with James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) and Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) after the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.)
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) celebrates his victory as he crosses the line at the end of the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) celebrates his victory on the podium after the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) celebrates his victory on the podium after the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International) celebrates his victory in the Valencia sprint race. Spain, June 24 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his victory on the podium. Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) leads the field into turn one on the opening lap of the race. Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his victory on the podium. Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his victory on the podium with Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) and Luiz Razia (BRA, Arden International). Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) celebrates his race win. Round 6. Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain. June 23 2012 (Photo: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) in pit lane on Friday at Valencia in Spain. June 22 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) on Friday at Valencia in Spain. June 22 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)

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