After three races in a row with Davide Valsecchi claiming the win, it was nice to have a break in the tradition and to see a new face celebrating his first GP2 Series win.

Rapax's Tom Dillmann led from the start to a hotly contested finish in the Saturday feature race, the final GP2 event of 2012 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. Having inherited the pole position following Felipe Nasr's penalty for ignoring yellow flags in the Friday feature race, which had shuffled the Brazilian out of the top eight for the reversed grid and promoted Dillmann in from ninth to the sprint pole alongside Marcus Ericsson.

Pulling off a perfect start, Dillmann duly held the lead down into turn 1 ahead of Ericsson, but just as happened on Friday the iSport's start line form wasn't matched by his ensuing race pace and Arden's Luiz Razia quickly took over the second spot on lap 3 to spend the remainder of the 23-lap sprint event hunting down the leader, growing ominously closer and closer in Dillmann's rear view mirrors. Finally he was in range to try launching a last-corner strike that almost succeeded in wresting the race win away from the Frenchman, but ultimately Razia fell short by just under two tenths across the line and Dillmann held on for his maiden victory.

Three-time Bahrain event winner Valsecchi had to settle for third place this time around, after getting slightly delayed by a first corner accident that saw Caterham Racings Giedo van der Garde spin after contact from Lotus GP's Esteban Guti?rrez. Valsecchi was then doing his usual top job of looking after his tyres but at the cost of taking an age to get past Ericsson for third place, which meant that by the time he finally gained the position it was too late to do anything about the two cars in front. Guti?rrez himself escaped a penalty for the incident with van der Garde and went on to finish in fourth place behind Valsecchi, both Lotus GP cars and drivers looking significantly more on the pace than they had done on their dismal Friday showing.

Race results

1. Tom Dillmann Rapax 41:16.276s
2. Luiz Razia Arden + 0.198s
3. Davide Valsecchi DAMS + 3.958s
4. Esteban Guti?rrez Lotus GP + 16.488s
5. Felipe Nasr DAMS + 18.602s
6. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 20.425s
7. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 26.294s
8. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 29.605s
9. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 33.490s
10. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering + 34.078s
11. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing + 43.463s
12. James Calado Lotus GP + 44.371s
13. Max Chilton Carlin + 46.743s
14. Julian Leal Trident Racing + 47.439s
15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing + 54.991s
16. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing + 59.764s
17. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing + 1:00.655s
18. Stefano Coletti Coloni + 1m02.090s
19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing + 1:02.632s
20. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 1:07.468s
21. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 1:08.293s
22. Jolyon Palmer iSport + 1:18.688s
23. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 1:26.049s


Simon Trummer Arden 21 laps Dani Clos Addax 19 laps Johnny Cecotto Addax 0 laps