• GP2, British Grand Prix, Race 2

Razia holds off DAMS drivers for victory in sprint race

ESPN Staff
July 8, 2012
Luiz Razia celebrates on Silverstone's podium © Sutton Images
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Championship leader Luiz Razia took a well-deserved victory in the GP2 sprint race at Silverstone, coming through from fourth on the grid and holding off challenges for the lead from both DAMS cars.

Davide Valsecchi finished second after a late push didn't pay off, ahead of team-mate Felipe Nasr, who started well but could not maintain his pace. Towards the end Nasr did well to fend off feature race winner Esteban Gutierrez, who finished fourth after a clash controversial with Johnny Cecotto on the final lap.

Razia took the lead after making three clean overtaking manoeuvres in the first two laps, two of which saw him hang his car around the outside of the high-speed Stowe corner. The move for the lead was on Giedo Van der Garde, who got a good start from pole position but soon came under pressure and eventually retired two laps from the end.

Nasr also quickly found a way past van der Garde and then set about harrying the back of Razia's Arden. At one stage Nasr got his nose ahead into the Arena section, but Razia remained cool, took a better line through the corner and resumed the lead under traction.

Nasr's persistence eventually took its toll on his tyres and he dropped behind team-mate Davide Valsecchi on lap 14, leaving the two championship leaders to battle it out. Valsecchi narrowed the gap to just 0.9s on lap 18 but his pace dropped away rapidly towards the end of the race and he crossed the line five seconds behind the Arden.

Towards the end of the race Nasr's podium aspirations came under attack from Gutierrez, whose aggressive style had seen him bully his way up from eighth to fourth by lap 19. His opportunity to pass Nasr came soon after but he ran deep into Vale and dropped to fifth behind Cecotto once more.

Nasr was then safe in third, but Gutierrez wasn't about to give up and on the final lap he attempted to pass Cecotto on the outside of Stowe. However, on 20-lap old tyres he ran out of grip and ran wide into the run-off area, and seemingly out of contention for the position. But Gutierrez being Gutierrez, he didn't lift and as he rejoined the track at full racing speed his car twitched dramatically and he smashed into the side of Cecotto, punting the Venezuelan onto the grass, through a polystyrene braking marker and finally into a hefty collision with the tyre barrier at Vale. Gutierrez continued on to take fourth but the incident will no doubt be investigated after the race.

Joylon Palmer benefitted from all the action in front to finish fifth ahead of Nigel Melker, Marcus Ericsson and Fabio Onidi. Britons James Calado and Max Chilton should have been in contention for points but they both spun off as Calado attempted an ambitious move on Chilton through Becketts.

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