Loic Duval kept his head while others around were losing theirs in challenging wet conditions at Zandvoort to give France its first win of the 2008/09 season.

Despite the fact that he hadn't stepped into the new Powered by Ferrari car until qualifying, Duval was able to bring the car home to the finish after a race featuring multiple accidents and Safety Car periods - one of which ran right to the chequered flag.

As was the case in the sprint race, the Safety Car led the field round at the start, with Brazil not on the grid following its accident in the latter stages of the first race.

The race itself kicked off in earnest when the Safety Car pulled off at the end of lap two with poleman Fairuz Fauzy leading the way, but it quickly became apparent just how tricky conditions were as Charlie Kimball suffered a spin in the Team USA car at turn six, although he was able to rejoin without problems.

Teenager Earl Bamber held second in the opening stages but lost out to both Duval and home hero Jeroen Bleekemolen before two of the fancied runners were forced out on lap five; Switzerland after Neel Jani pitted with technical problems and Ireland after Adam Carroll spun off and found himself beached in the gravel.

Within a lap, two more teams had been forced out after Italy and South Africa went off together; Fabio Onidi losing his car under braking and collecting the luckless Adrian Zaugg with both cars ending up parked in the gravel as a result.

The first round of pitstops saw both Malaysia and the Netherlands lose time as they struggled with the wheel change, while France elected to leave Duval out longer than anyone else and he made the most of a clear track to build a lead he was able to maintain after the stops had taken place.

Bleekemolen was soon back on pit road with a problem with the Dutch car, but was able to resume although having dropped down the order as a result. However, a series of incidents then led to the Safety Car being deployed for the first time.

First up, Satrio Hermanto crashed out in the Indonesia entry and then Korean Jin Woo Hwang suffered a spin that left him stuck on the wet grass as he was unable to get any traction. Filipe Albuquerque then followed Hermanto in crashing out of the race and the race went under caution as the debris was cleared up and Hwang was given a helping hand to get back on track and resume his race.

It left ten cars running on track and guaranteed a point for those remaining drivers from the opening feature race of the campaign, with France leading the train of cars behind the Safety Car from Malaysia, New Zealand and Lebanon, with Daniel Morad having climbed into a fine fourth place.

Duval set about extending his lead before the second stop, while a spin for Morad saw him lose fourth to Australian John Martin. Bleekemolen's struggles meanwhile continued as he lost sixth to Charlie Kimball in the USA entry with the gearbox on the Dutch car refusing to play ball.

After the second stops took place, Duval retained the lead but the man pushing was Kimball, clearly keen to impress team boss Michael Andretti in an effort to secure more outings in the car despite the announcement that both Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti will race in American colours this season. However, having posted the quickest lap of the race, it wall went wrong for Kimball on lap 31 when he lost the back end at turn five and found himself beached in the gravel.

Two laps later, the result was effectively decided when Morad lost control under braking for turn one on standing water and went into a lurid slide that collected Ho Pin Tung and saw both the Lebanese and Chinese cars go off heavily into the barriers.

Although both drivers were able to climb from the cars, there was little option but to call out the Safety Car with Duval ahead of Fauzy, Bamber, Martin and Bleekemolen; with the top five being the only drivers still on the lead lap. Clivio Piccione was still running a lap down in sixth for Monaco, while Hwang was three laps down in seventh for Korea. Brazil had also joined the party but only to allow Felipe Guimaraes to complete some extra laps given the late arrival of the teams car ahead of the weekend.

With the clock running down, the Safety Car peeled in to the pits to allow the teams to take the chequered flag and Duval crossed the line for the victory ahead of Fauzy and Bamber - with the same three drivers to have stood on the podium in the sprint race also making it to the feature race podium, albeit in a different order.

Martin was fourth for Australia ahead of Bleekemolen, Piccione and Hwang, while Morad, Tung and Kimball all picked up points despite not making it to the finish.



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