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.

Easily out pacing those behind, with the ambient temperatures clearing the standing water and allowing those with a more optimistic set-up to begin pushing, van der Garde started to make steady in-roads on Petrov and was soon on his rear wing with ten laps to go. His cause was aided two offs for Petrov at the Roggia chicane, one whilst attempting to lap Kamui Kobayashi and another when he out-braked himself.

Nonetheless, Petrov's staunch defence was keeping van der Garde at bay and with neither yet to pit with five laps remaining, it would come down to a battle between the iSport and Addax pit crews.

Although it looked as though van der Garde's method of pitting first would be undone by a yellow flag period, prompted by a spin for Michael Herck, his out lap would still prove significantly quicker than Petrov's in-lap, to the point that he would comfortably sweep past his rival as he returned from the pit-lane.

When Johnny Cecotto Jr crashed and became stranded on the racing line with two laps remaining, there was no chance for Petrov to respond, allowing van der Garde to celebrate the third win of a maiden season that has really gathered pace as the season as progressed.

Despite missing out on the win, Petrov remains in the title hunt, although Hulkenberg can still wrap up the title in the sprint race if he finishes well and Petrov fails to score.

Hulkenberg himself has an eventful race, the German dropping to eighth at one stage when a mistake at the Parabolica again on lap four lost him momentum. Nonetheless, he gathered himself up again to climb back to fifth, only to run wide at the second Lesmo late on and drop a position to sixth.

Ahead of him, Lucas di Grassi was gifted third position when an entertaining battle between himself and Alvaro Parente was decided when the Portuguese driver was punished with a drive-thru penalty for cutting the chicane on three occasions. He was not the only driver to be penalised, with Davide Valsecchi, Roldan Rodriguez and Kamui Kobayashi all losing time this way.

Fourth position fell to Jerome d'Ambrosio, the Belgian producing a mighty effort from 21st on the grid to score five points. The DAMS driver was aided by an inspired decision to retain the end plate on his rear wing, giving him additional downforce in the wet conditions. Helping him go from 21st to 12th on lap one alone, his fourth place was achieved despite having to make two pit stops.

Edoardo Mortara was another to star, the Italian pitting early and working his way from 24th on the grid to finish in a superb fifth position on home ground.

The remaining points positions were taken by a recovering Parente and Javier Villa, the Spaniard benefitting from Herck's crash in the latter stages to claim pole position for the sprint race.