Karun Chandhok has taken a stunning maiden GP2 Series win after prevailing in a thrilling tussle with Andy Soucek during the sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Capping off a superb run of form that only saw him finish in the points for the first time in Turkey, Chandhok made the most of his front row starting position to also return Durango Corse to the top spot for the first time in two seasons.

Indeed, if there were any expectations that the top three of Ho-Pin Tung, Chandhok and Soucek off the grid would not be able to sustain the pace of those behind them then Chandhok's win, Soucek's second place and Tung's fourth was a definite reminder that no driver should be underestimated.

From the off, Tung ruined his hopes of a surprise victory when he bogged down on the line and then locked up into La Source, allowing Chandhok and a fast starting Soucek through, the latter diving into the lead from third.

di Grassi also sneaked past into third place, with Javier Villa, Tung, Vitaly Petrov, Luca Filippi and Bruno Senna, up from the back of the field already, following closely. However, as there was in the first race, several drivers failed to get off the line well, most notably race one winner Nicolas Lapierre, who stalled, while Mike Conway also suffered a tardy getaway.

Even before that though there was drama after championship leader Timo Glock didn't even make the startline when he was collected by Ricardo Risatti on the warm-up lap, the Argentine losing control of his Trident Racing car on the grass and spearing into Glock, sending him into the barriers and causing terminal damage.

di Grassi's hopes of taking the ultimate advantage though were looking scuppered early on when he wasn't able to maintain the furious pace going on ahead, Soucek powering forward but being chased closely by Chandhok.

However, while he managed to get the gap up to a high of 1.5secs, Chandhok was beginning to reel his rival in as the race progressed and it was clear the fight was most certainly on for victory.

Perhaps spurred on by the potential win he lost in Turkey was he was rather ungracefully eliminated whilst leading, the Indian driver pulled off a marvellous move on Soucek around the outside of Les Combes after picking up his rival's tow.

Sweeping past on lap eleven, Chandhok was not worried to the chequered flag on lap 18 to come home a stunning winner and one that marks the highlight of his racing career.

Although likely to be disappointed to miss out on victory, Soucek would probably have taken a sixth and a second place finish before this weekend, the Spaniard breaking DPR's season points duck in style and finally proving his potential in GP2 Series racing.

Despite a concerted effort from Tung, who records BCN Competicion's best result of the season in fourth, di Grassi was an important third in light of Glock's failure to score anything more than the point he gained for fastest lap in the feature race. As such, the duo head into the final round at Valencia just two points apart, setting up a mouth watering tussle in Spain.

Fifth was occupied by a recovering Conway, who managed to haul himself back into contention after passing team-mate Filippi, Vitaly Petrov and also Villa, the latter having received a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

His team-mate Filippi's hopes of holding onto the final points position however were ruined when Adam Carroll, recovering from starting towards the back of the grid, managed to complete the job he attempted in the first race before spinning, by snaring the sixth and final point.

Fastest lap meanwhile went the way of Lapierre, the Frenchman unable to recover from his stall but bolting on new tyres and gaining at least one points for his efforts.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment