17 February 2008
Sentul 2008: Fauzy takes sprint 'race' honours.
Fairuz Fauzy has taken his maiden victory in GP2 after a lights-to-flags success in the sprint race at Sentul.
In a race beset by Safety Car periods which did little to improve the mood of the paddock after a weekend full of problems, the Super Nova driver came home just ahead of Bruno Senna after a six minute dash to the flag when racing was finally able to take place.
Heavy rain just before the race was due to kick off led to the decision to start the race behind the Safety Car but the conditions were tricky enough for both Alberto Valerio and Harald Schlegelmilch to go off before the race proper got underway.
On lap seven, the Safety Car peeled into the pits for the race to resume, with the notable battle being for fifth place between Ben Hanley and Romain Grosjean. However, as the Brit tried to find a way past his fellow Renault Development Driver, Vitaly Petrov nipped past both to take the position.
Racing didn't last for long however as Luca Filippi's miserable weekend got worse when he spun at turn one, bringing out the Safety Car once again with his Qi-Meritus car stuck on the track.
Once that caution period ended, hopes were high for some racing action but it didn't last for long as the battle that had emerged for third between Milos Pavlovic, Petrov, Grosjean and Hanley ended in tears.
Petrov managed to get into third without problems, but when Hanley then tried to pass Grosjean – who in turn was making a move on Pavlovic. Hanley went into the turn too hot and was unable to avoid hitting Pavlovic, who was forced out on the spot. Although Hanley recovered to the pits the Safety Car was back out on track, with Stephen Jelley also beached in the gravel at turn one after contact with former British F3 sparring partner Christian Bakkerud.
Once marshals had finally cleared the stricken cars from the track – a process which took longer than it should have done – just six minutes remained with Fauzy able to pull away from second placed Bruno Senna as the Brazilian struggled with a dry set-up on his iSport car.
There was late drama however when Marcello Puglisi spun out and left his car stranded on the track. Fauzy and Senna both went round the outside of the Piquet Sports machine, but third placed Petrov went to the inside which enabled him to edge ahead of Senna. However, with yellow flags flying, he allowed Senna to retake the place and secure second as Fauzy took his first win.
Petrov settled for third ahead of Romain Grosjean, who remains ten points clear in the points standings from Senna. Adrian Valles was fifth, while the points scorers were completed by Ho-Pin Tung, who overcame his race one retirement with a solid run to sixth place
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