Stefano Coletti has left Sepang as the early GP2 Series points leader after taking a win and a podium from the opening round of the season.
Coletti had led the majority of Saturday’s feature race before tyre problems dropped him to third in the closing stages, but the Monegasque driver bounced back in the sprint race, making a great start from sixth to lead the opening lap and the Rapax driver never lost the lead, holding off a charging Felipe Nasr in the closing stages to take the win.
Fabio Leimer’s win in the feature race leaves him in second place in the standings, 11 points behind Coletti, although he will be disappointed not to have left Malaysia as the points leader after a poor sprint race, which included a major excursion through the gravel, left him empty-handed.
It was also a sprint race to forget for James Calado, who…
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Race 1: Mullers impressive ride and Huffs comeback
Yvan Muller was starting from Pole ahead of his teammate Tom Chilton and Bamboo Engineering driver Alex MacDowall.
The two Lukoil Lada Grantas couldn’t start the race because Dudukalo crashed into the side of Thompsons Lada at Qualifying, the cars were to badly damaged.
Rob Huff started the race in 22nd because he had an odd collision with Fredy Barths BMW into the 2nd chicane. The WTCC champion of 2012 damaged his front suspension and had to retire.
The field started the race behind the safety car due the wet conditions.
Muller had a good start and held the lead until the end.
Teammate Chilton gave him some pressure from behind, but was never in the position to overtake him.
Even at the restart after the big crash from Stefano D’Aste, he didn’t managed to overtake him.
So Muller won ahead of Chilton and MacDowall, the two new Honda Civic S2000 were on 4th and 5th position.
Rob Huff had a incredible comeback and came from 22nd position on 6th position at the end.
Results Race 1:
|1||12||Y. Muller||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||30:02.783||12|
|2||23||T. Chilton||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||0.923||12|
|3||9||A. MacDowall||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||5.101||4.178||12|
|6||1||R. Huff||SEAT||Leon WTCC||17.349||2.088||12|
|7||14||J. Nash||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||19.964||2.615||12|
|9||15||T. Coronel||BMW||320 TC||28.837||8.499||12|
|10||73||F. Barth||BMW||320 TC||37.740||8.903||12|
|11||13||J. Dayraut||BMW||320 TC||39.226||1.486||12|
|12||19||F. Monje||SEAT||Leon WTCC||41.656||2.430||12|
|13||55||D. O’Young||BMW||320 TC||48.116||6.460||12|
|14||38||M. Basseng||SEAT||Leon WTCC||50.920||2.804||12|
|15||7||C. Ng||BMW||320 TC||54.412||3.492||12|
|16||37||R. Münnich||SEAT||Leon WTCC||58.733||4.321||12|
|17||25||M. Bennani||BMW||320 TC||2:05.913||1:07.180||12|
|18||22||T. Boardman||SEAT||Leon WTCC||2 Runden||10|
|19||6||F. Engstler||BMW||320 TC||3 Runden||9|
|20||17||M. Nykjaer||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||3 Runden||9|
|DNF||74||P. Oriola||SEAT||Leon WTCC||8|
|DNF||26||S. D’Aste||BMW||320 TC||3|
Race 2: Mullers 2nd win and fantastic battle between Tarquini and Basseng
Darrel O’Young was starting from Pole in his ROAL-BMW.
Tarquini was starting from 4th spot and had a incredible start to the race.
After only three corners he was overtaking O’Young for the lead.
But Muller made a great comeback from 6th position and overtoke Tarquini later for lead.
Than the battles began. Tarquini had fantastic battle with Nika Racing driver Michael Nykjaer, but the Chevrolet Cruze was way better than the Civic so Nykjaer overtoke him finally.
Tom Boardman lost his front suspension after he made contact with James Nash.
Boardman was standing in the middle of the track and brought out the safety car.
After the restart there was a battle for third between Tarquini and Basseng.
This battle continued until the last lap.
Basseng was fighting but it he was to late. Tarquini was just ahead of him at the finish line, that was great racing!!!
Muller won ahead of Nykjaer and Tarquini.
Results Race 2:
|1||12||Y. Muller||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||23:27.254||10|
|2||17||M. Nykjaer||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||2.482||10|
|4||38||M. Basseng||SEAT||Leon WTCC||5.081||0.087||10|
|5||23||T. Chilton||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||5.612||0.531||10|
|6||74||P. Oriola||SEAT||Leon WTCC||6.755||1.143||10|
|7||14||J. Nash||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||14.445||7.690||10|
|9||26||S. D’Aste||BMW||320 TC||23.722||3.149||10|
|10||1||R. Huff||SEAT||Leon WTCC||25.442||1.720||10|
|11||15||T. Coronel||BMW||320 TC||37.126||11.684||10|
|12||55||D. O’Young||BMW||320 TC||41.394||4.268||10|
|13||6||F. Engstler||BMW||320 TC||43.904||2.510||10|
|14||73||F. Barth||BMW||320 TC||45.921||2.017||10|
|15||19||F. Monje||SEAT||Leon WTCC||50.678||4.757||10|
|16||22||T. Boardman||SEAT||Leon WTCC||53.591||2.913||10|
|17||7||C. Ng||BMW||320 TC||59.157||5.566||10|
|18||13||J. Dayraut||BMW||320 TC||66.537||7.380||10|
|19||25||M. Bennani||BMW||320 TC||86.721||20.184||10|
|20||9||A. MacDowall||Chevrolet||Cruze 1.6T||1 Runde||9|
|21||37||R. Münnich||SEAT||Leon WTCC||1 Runde||62.256||9|
|22||5||N. Michelisz||Honda||Civic||1 Runde||23.306||9|
Overall: More action to come!!!
Fantastic start to the 9th season of the still young WTCC series.
Hope that Lada can start in Marakesch beacause they have very good pace.
Thompson was in the Top 10 for Qualifying, so the Granta is very quick, but i still think that the Lada Granta is a bit of an underdog. Honda could be a real challenger for RML-Chevrolet this year, this is going to be very exciting.
The next round is in Marakesch (Marocco) on the 7th of April.