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van der Garde claims Spa sprint.


Giedo van der Garde stormed to victory in the closest thing the Dutchman has to a home race, claiming a second GP2 Series win of the year after leading from lights to flag in Sunday morning's sprint event at the fabled Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

The iSport driver crowned the best day of the season for former champions iSport International, as Diego Nunes sandwiched Roldan Rodriguez to claim a 1-3 result for Paul Jackson's team, but the win was set up at the start when van der Garde blew past poleman Edoardo Mortara as the lights went out.

Claiming the inside line for turn one, the lead was never in doubt again, especially as, behind him, chaos reigned at La Source. The fast-starting Dani Clos appeared to misjudge his braking into the hairpin and, on the inside line, had little room to manoeuvre, clattering into points leader Nico Hülkenberg, and leaving Jérôme d'Ambrosio
and Luca Filippi nowhere to go but into the stricken pair.

Pastor Maldonado made a strong start to slot in behind van der Garde and Mortara, and was soon looking for a way past the Italian. Faster, but frustrated by his rival's defence, the Venezuelan tried his luck on the outside of Les Combes, but found the grass instead, spinning across the track and into the wall as he attempted to change his line on a surface still damp with morning dew. The errant ART machine forced Kamui Kobayashi to spin in avoidance, and prompted the first appearance of the safety car.

Race one winner Alvaro Parente was promoted to fourth as a result, but it wasn't to last, the Portuguese driver's race ending one lap later - still behind the pace car - as a cloud of smoke signalled an engine failure. Parente's exit pushed Nunes - recovering from a race one penalty that cost him points and four places on the grid - and Lucas di Grassi up one spot, before the latter easily disposed of his compatriot when the race went live.

The Racing Engineering driver then homed in on Mortara, but got a little too close and, one lap later, ran over the Italian's rear wheel into the Bus Stop, putting both drivers out on the spot and promoting Sergio Perez to fourth, ahead of Davides Valsecchi and Rigon.

For the remainder of the race, the battles to watch were for the minor points places, as van der Garde easily rolled to victory three seconds ahead of Rodriguez. Nunes, meanwhile, had to absorb race-long pressure from Perez to claim his podium finish, while, behind them, Rigon made a spectacular move on his namesake at the end of the main straight to claim a strong fifth position.

Championship contender Vitaly Petrov, having appeared to suffer as a by-product of Clos' misjudgement at turn one, finally found a way by Barwa Addax team-mate Valsecchi to claim sixth place and keep himself mathematically in the title hunt. The Russian goes to Monza 27 points behind ART's Hülkenberg with 40 points left to play for over the final two weekends of the season, at Monza and Portimao.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Giedo van der Garde - iSport International [pic credit: GP2 Media]
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Alex Lynn (GBR, DAMS), leads at the start as Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) spins, after contact with Rio Haryanto (INA, Campos Racing), Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) & Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 10. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 9. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) leads Rio Haryanto (INA, Campos Racing) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) over the line for the win. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 9. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) battle for position at the start Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo di Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Artem Markelov (RUS, RUSSIAN TIME) leads Robert Visoiu (ROM, Rapax) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo di Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME), leads home Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at the finish. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates with his team in parc ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates on the podium with Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates on the podium with Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 8. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service

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