12 September 2009
van der Garde snatches third win
Giedo van der Garde has won his third GP2 Series race of the season after a measured display of driving in slippery conditions at Monza saw him snatch victory from Vitaly Petrov with just three laps remaining.
The first time he has won a feature event this season, van der Garde spent much of the race reeling in Petrov after the Russian established a five second lead in the early stages.
However, with the iSport machine faring better in improving conditions, compared to his rival's more skittish Addax car, it took an inspired pit call just four laps from the end to get him out in front for the first time, where he would go on to victory.
The race itself was delayed for some time after a heavy downpour left the circuit in a treacherous condition. Even when things did get underway, the drivers had to spend the first five laps tucked behind the safety car before racing resumed.
Although able to capitalise on having a clear track in front, Petrov was the first to find the surface very slippery under braking for the tight first corner, the Russian skating across the escape road, but avoiding any penalty.
van der Garde followed in second, with championship leader Nico Hulkenberg just holding onto third, despite a moment out of the final corner as the race began. Allowing Sergio Perez alongside as they raced to the first turn, the Mexican would go on to lose his car under braking, Hulkenberg just missing the out of control Arden machine as it slid across his bows. Remarkably, despite crossing the circuit twice, Perez wouldn't be collected by the chasing field.
Unsurprisingly, lap one did prompt further casualties in Pastor Maldonado, who slid out of fourth at the Parabolica, while Alberto Valerio didn't complete the lap either.
Determined to keep his fading title hopes alive, Petrov pressed on, capitalising on having a clear track in front to steadily eke his margin out over van der Garde. However, the Dutchman's chance would come soon afterwards when Petrov out-braked himself for the first turn.
Although he was able to haul his car around the chicane, the lead to van der Garde had been halved and would provide the impetus for him to begin chasing Petrov down.
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