Timo Glock tightened his grip on the GP2 Series points lead by adding a first victory of the year to a trio of second place finishes in the sprint event at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

The German again came from seventh on the reverse grid to claim a podium position, as he had in Bahrain a month ago, but this time went one better by catching and passing poleman Javier Villa before disappearing into the distance.

Villa stayed the course in second place to claim his first podium, but had to withstand late race pressure from Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna, who closed on the racing Engineering car as tyre wear became a factor. Senna could have claimed his second podium of the weekend after catching his fellow Brazilian, but came up short by just over a tenth of a second in the sprint to the flag.

Sergio Jiminez took fifth after a quiet race spoiled by a poor getaway from the front row, while Giorgio Pantano opened his account for 2007 by coming from 22nd on the grid to snatch sixth from Kazuki Nakajima on the line. The pair had both managed to dispatch the Italian's Campos team-mate Vitaly Petrov in the closing stages, but Pantano appeared to catch Nakajima napping as the pair raced to the flag.

Once again, the race started - or rather didn't - with problems for several runners, none moreso than Bahrain sprint winner Nicolas Lapierre, who failed to leave the grid for the warm-up lap, as his engine pumped water all over the road. The Frenchman, who had the engine running, was pushed to the pits for the start, but then had to sit through another aborted getaway as both Borja Garcia and Pastor Maldonado stalled. While Lapierre's fresh engine - installed after his huge blow-up on Saturday - slowly boiled, the two stallers joined him in the queue, and the field went around for a third time, no doubt trying teenager Villa's nerves.

The youngster, however, made no mistake when the lights went out, leaving the poor start to team-mate Jiminez. The slow Racing Engineering car helped shuffle the pack into turn one, albeit without quite the same chaos as Saturday. di Grassi made the most of the opportunity, vaulting into second spot, with Senna following him through after new boy Mikhail Aleshin had appeared to be best placed to follow Villa through.

The leading group was scattered further, however, as Mike Conway made contact with Roldan Rodriguez, spinning the Spaniard and causing both Adrian Zaugg and Kohei Hirate to take to the gravel. Rodriguez was out on the spot, ending a disappointing day for the Minardi Piquet Sports team, which had been forced to run without Xandi Negrao following the Brazilian's heavy shunt in race one. Having started every test, practice and race session in GP2 history, Negrao may also have to sit out the Monaco round in two weeks' time.

With Lapierre's engine deciding that enough was enough and not permitting the DAMS car to leave the pits, the retirement list was boosted to three at the end of lap one when Jason Tahinci dropped out, and further still in the opening stages when Andy Soucek added to his poor start with DPR. The Spaniard's team-mate, Christian Bakkerud, was also running hurt, having trapped a nerve in his back earlier in the weekend, but made a decent enough start to run in the top ten for the opening part of the 25-lap encounter.

While the rest of the field contented itself with tripping over each other, Glock was already making his move, passing Senna on lap two and di Grassi one tour later. At that point, Villa had a two-second advantage on the German, but it quickly became clear that the iSport car was by far the faster of the two. A full second came off the gap on lap six alone ad, two laps later, Villa made no attempt to protect his lead as Glock swept by into turn one. From that point, the race for victory was over unless the German ran into reliability problems.

Back in the pack, it continued to be 'no holds barred', with battles being fought out up and down the field. Super Nova took over the mantle previously held by Trident as team-mates Luca Filippi and Conway made contact, fortunately without repercussions, while the recovering Maldonado proved a little 'over-eager' as he punted Ho-Pin Tung off at the chicane. The Chinese driver retired to the pits with his steering awry, but Maldonado continued - only to crash out all on his on the final lap!

Bakkerud's injury really became a problem from half-distance, the DPR machine missing apexes and braking points as the pain took hold again. From being a stopper in the bottle, the Dane quickly slipped back through the order - ceding positions to Antonio Pizzonia, Pantano, Hirate, Conway and Maldonado in rapid succession - before wisely calling it a day.

Pantano, meanwhile, was the man on the move, and made short work of closing in on the train being headed by Campos team-mate Petrov. The Russian had been chasing countryman Aleshin for the final point, but the train suddenly took on greater significance when the ART stand-in spun exiting the chicane. Petrov assumed sixth spot, but clearly did not have the pace to pull away from his pursuers, which initially numbered only Nakajima, but quickly added Pizzonia and Pantano.

The Italian disposed of his former F1 rival with little problem, but found Nakajima a bigger hurdle - until the final lap. With the flag in sight, Pantano followed the Japanese driver past a slower car, before swooping out from the slipstream and edging him to the line.

The result was proof of Pantano's determination to put Campos on the map, if nothing else, but - and GP2 - needs the blue-and-white machine to be at the front of the grid on a regular basis if Glock's march to the title is to be made a little tougher. The German has racked up a quartet of top two finishes to move into a comfortable points lead, while his rivals have flattered to deceive. Bahrain winners Filippi and Lapierre left Spain without having added to their totals, while iSport team-mate Zuber similarly went home empty-handed after losing first gear before the start of the feature race on Saturday.

There may be nine rounds remaining, but time might already be running out.