• GP2, Singapore Grand Prix, Race 2

Van der Garde wins GP2 finale

ESPN Staff
September 23, 2012 « Massa blames rear grip woes for poor qualifying | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Giedo van der Garde took victory at the final race of the season © Sutton Images

Giedo van der Garde won the GP2 sprint race for Caterham as DAMS secured the team championship in the final race of the season.

Van der Garde survived a safety car period to lead from lights to flag despite never putting a big gap between himself and Marcus Ericsson. Fabio Leimer secured his second podium of the weekend in third, while Esteban Gutierrez's sixth place saw him secure third in the drivers' championship as feature race winner Max Chilton struggled to a lowly 19th.

Luca Filippi did not start the race as his car was too heavily damaged following his crash in the feature race on Saturday, but when the 25 cars on the grid got away Felipe Nasr got a shocking start, promoting Luiz Razia up to third and Leimer in to fourth. Chilton slipped back from his eighth place start and was immediately little threat to Gutierrez's championship position as he clearly lacked pace.

Sergio Canamasas was handed a drive-through penalty for having mechanics on the grid within 30 seconds of the formation lap, but the Venezuela Lazarus driver didn't take the penalty within the required three laps and was black-flagged. Running a competitive seventh it had appeared Canamasas was trying to build as much as a gap as possible, but then he stayed out for a number of laps after being shown the black flag. He only pitted when his car slowed dramatically; pleading ignorance when he got out of the car as he claimed his radio wasn't working.

Canamasas finally retired following a safety car period caused by his team-mate Rene Binder spinning and stalling in the final corner. That bunched the field up for the second half of the race and saw a close battle for the final podium place. Van der Garde and Ericsson pulled away at the front, but Razia started to struggle with his tyres and eventually lost out to Leimer on the final lap.

Championship runner-up Razia then held up Davide Valsecchi, Gutierrez and Felipe Nasr for the remainder of the lap, but all four crossed the line in a row to ensure DAMS took the team championship for the first time.

Stefano Coletti took the last point in eighth place as the race ran to time rather than laps, with Johnny Cecotto closing him down late on. Cecotto had pitted for fresh tyres and recovered from a drive-through penalty for a clash with Jolyon Palmer which left the latter in the wall at turn 20, but the clock halted his charge towards the points.